This I Believe

Annie - El Monte, California
Entered on June 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Since my early childhood, I’ve always believed true friends were a rarity. If I were to define what a “true friend” was to me, I would say that this friend would accept me for who I was and vice versa, and we would be friends despite distance and time.

It’s hard to determine who is a genuine friend, since there is not much of a distinction between who is a friend and who is a colleague. As a child, I was eager to obtain as many friends as possible. So, every student part of my classes or around my neighborhood becomes a friend. The older I get, the bigger the circle of friends become. Of course, not everyone in that circle can be regarded as friends, perhaps more like acquaintances or classmates.

From my own experiences, I believe what creates the ties between my close friends and I together during elementary and high school years are the classes we shared. Not everyone shares the same interests, but we do share classes. So, those that I’ve been with since school first started, sometimes end up becoming part of the inner circle, though not always. The lines start to blur between what is a friend and what is, more realistically, only a classmate.

It saddens me when, as the years go by, how many of those friends we had become distant figures that I only know as a classmate. Even as we speak now, I am not sure who I can regard as a true friend. Perhaps I feel some are my friends because I talk to them, but there are those that I regard as friends even though I don’t interact with them regularly as others. The separation of classes and interests also play big roles in the distance placed between us. It sets my mind to think about who my genuine friends are.

As most of my classmates and friends go our separate ways, I believe this is when my true friends will be found. Distance does not always force friends apart. At times, it can help to determine where the real friendship lies. Acquaintances are common, but genuine friends… one-of-a-kind.