I arrived at school with swollen cheeks and stitches in my gums, almost immediately regretting not staying at home the day after having my wisdom teeth removed. However, it was the last day of classes before winter break, and I had a good reason for coming to school: immediately afterwards, my friend was hosting her annual “Cookie Party,” something that I was definitely not going to miss.
The first Cookie Party took place during winter break of our freshman year. The guidelines of the event are that every invitee bakes two dozen of her favorite cookies and brings them to the party along with the recipe. At the end of the party, the cookies are divided and the recipes are supposed to be exchanged. Yet every year, without fail, we bypass an essential requirement of the Cookie Party: we neglect to exchange the recipes and simply depart with our cookies. I have come to realize that, instead, we leave with a renewed sense of the depth and importance of our friendships.
The Cookie Party is a gathering of a loyal, tight-knit group of girls, many of whom have been friends since grade school. These are the friends who have greatly influenced and shaped my character. They mirror the qualities of loyalty, compassion, ambition, and intellectual curiosity that I value in myself. These young women are both my role models and my catalysts, empowering me and inspiring me to do my best. I am a stronger and more confident person in large part because of them. The group of girls that attends the Cookie Parties is a collection of powerful, driven individuals; I am proud to count myself among them. Drawing from my experience with these young women, I believe that wisely chosen friends strengthen one’s character and confidence.
The Cookie Party has become an important annual tradition for me, not just because it is an opportunity to satisfy my sweet tooth, although that is an added bonus. More importantly, it is an expression of close friendships made and maintained. The fact that I attended the second Cookie Party the day after my wisdom-teeth-removal surgery is a testament to the event’s deeper significance; even though I wouldn’t be able to eat any of the cookies, I insisted on going to the party simply because the time spent with my friends and the traditions we have created are invaluable. This group of talented, inspired girls has made me a more mature, ambitious, and confident young woman. I believe that friends possess the exceptional power to mold and improve a person’s character.
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