This I Believe

Patrick - Bensalem, Pennsylvania
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Not Making the Same Mistake Twice

I was walking up to my freshman year residence area at Penn State and saw some friends from high school. I became very excited and ran towards them. I went to hug them, but I realized that they were not responding at all. Then, the one girl looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “Who are you?” then walked away.

I didn’t understand their behavior in my dream. When I woke up, I had a guilty feeling in my stomach. I hadn’t done anything wrong, or at least I didn’t think so at the time. I had good friendships with those three people in high school, but after senior week, we all went our separate ways. Why would they act like they didn’t know me? I realized that they don’t know me; not anymore anyway. I was eighteen the last time we talked as friends, and I am a much different person now.

This dream made me realize how influential true friendships are. Because of those three people, I was given the extra push to run for such positions as president of my student body government. They helped mold me into the person I am today, but at the time they seemed like they were there just because. When we stopped talking, I looked at it more as their loss, and it was okay because I was getting ready to start a new life. Now, after realizing how much of each other’s lives we have missed out on, I believe in the importance of not taking the friends that matter most for granted.

Having this dream helped me in making sure that I never make the same mistake twice. It has always been very important for me to have the ability to juggle several things at one time and still be able to hold onto relationships as best as possible. I understand this more now than ever, and it only took me three and a half years to really grasp the concept. I can have thousands of acquaintances, but only a handful of those individuals would be there for me as much as I would be there for them.

This realization gave me the chance to consider what’s important and think about different people who I have had the privilege to call my friends. I began to remember people who I stopped talking to as much because of the new organizations I was involved with. Then, I saw the faces of people who I am close with right now, and I wondered if they’ll be a part of my future.

I never again want to allow a gap to form between me and people who have a place in my heart. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more in life and to be involved as much as possible, but I will always remember who helped get me where I want to go. I will not forget how influential the people in my past have been. And this, I believe.