This I Believe

Kelsey - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

It all started when I was in seventh grade – the word “clique” was added to my vocabulary. I have always hated that word and its definition. Not only did I learn the word, but it also became clear that every other seventh grade girl was familiar with it. That is when I realized that I believe it’s important to have a friend, but it’s more important to be a friend.

I have always been the type to get along with everyone, but also the person who never gets close to anyone, and basically just listens to what you have to say, talks to you about anything and everything, gives you advice (whatever advice was needed at the age of thirteen) and that’s it. But when cliques started forming at my school, I froze. I knew something had to change. I couldn’t get along with everyone anymore, but I did need to find a clique to “belong to”.

That is when I knew I had to step up. However pathetic this may sound, I had to do something to make people like me. I was up for anything. I was ready to change everything about the person I’d become in the past thirteen years.

With a whole summer to prepare, the next school year was when I decided to change. It worked, and I had made new friends, actual friends! We were always together, whichever friend it may be. I was having a blast, except for one thing. I wasn’t being a friend.

Too bad it took me so long to realize that. I could have saved myself from the changing that occurred. The next year, “not being a friend” caught up with me and I was back to where I started. Then I realized that it’s not a bad thing! I enjoy helping people out, giving advice, and listening to someone’s problems. This was what being a friend was! Which is why it’s important to have a friend, but more important to be a friend.

At the time when all of this was happening, I wasn’t sure if I was actually learning anything. Although it took me a long time to realize, it has helped me a lot in my life experiences. I know for a fact that I will use what I experienced several years ago for along time, and already, have used what I learned. Now, as a senior in high school, I’ve made actual friends – without changing a thing, while continuing to be a friend.