This I Believe

Joanne - Stafford/VA/22556
Entered on August 23, 2006
Age Group: Under 18


You know, my mother always told me to be aware of who I surround myself with and this I happened to learn while attending the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine for the summer of 2006. I had just been invited to a great program which could drive further my ambition of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon and here I was trying to tell of my great news to my so called “friend”.

“What you wanna be a doctor for . . . a medical what?” are just some of the words she said as I tried to explain. I realized that she didn’t care, and neither would all the so-called friends I’d been hanging with. They would never truly care about my dream of becoming a doctor.

Ever since the 8th grade, I’ve surrounded myself around those who I’ve done exceptionally better than academically, with speaking properly, writing, and making the right choices. I say this now, but my excuse for my mother would always be “You always have a problem with my friends.” So I never pushed myself to strive for the best, reason being I knew I was doing better than the average.

I have done pretty well academically though, and I was very happy to be invited to this Medical Forum. On arrival, I was actually shocked. I saw kids my age who all had a dream of becoming a doctor wearing clothes that were hip, their I-pods blasting, and they happened to look like regular high school students.

As we all signed in, one girl in particular kept looking over at me. I didn’t know anybody else, so I quickly became “friends” with her. We started to exchange information with one another and I quickly had to digest all the information she told me. I, in a state of shock, came to realize that I was getting to know somebody who had some of the same goals that I did. I didn’t have to think twice about what I was telling her because she was just like me. She accepted the things that I confided in her.

Now, this girl wasn’t the only girl I “clicked with”. But during each medical session, I saw the same thing. Not only were all these people attending the forum all inspired to become doctors, but some I felt were even more advanced than myself. They had a little bit of more knowledge about the medical field which was a little bit of a challenge, but I found myself liking it. What was wrong with being challenged? Why, back at home, was I trying to prove that I could be like everybody else? Fit into the norm? And the number one question was why was I constantly surrounding myself with people who could care less of who I want to become?

And now my mother’s famous words were haunting me. “Be aware of the people you surround yourself with.” She’s right. I could have friends who challenged me every day and at the same time go to the movies on a Saturday night. This new choice of friends would be beneficial to me and also inspire me to do my best. So what’s wrong with that?