This I Believe

Jessica - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I sat nervously on the first day of kindergarten, wondering if I would ever have someone to play with. I knew I needed to find someone so that that I could stop feeling anxious, but I didn’t know who to turn to. So on that first day of kindergarten I walked up to Katie and asked her, “do you want to be my friend?” and she said yes.

The two of us did everything together. We worked together in class, played together at recess and sat together at lunch. One day we were playing and two boys came and pushed Katie into the snow. I shouted, “Hey don’t push my friend.” And though I too found myself in the snow, at least I was there because I had tried to defend her. I am not sure how I knew, but I knew that she would have done the same thing for me. That’s when I began figuring out what it meant to be a friend.

When we entered middle school everything became harder. We only had one class together, band, and we both played the same instrument. It was very competitive and it sometimes caused conflicts between us. We got frustrated at each other and at times we fought, but we could never stay mad at each other. I remember one day we got into an argument and weren’t talking to each other, but by the end of the day we were laughing and talking as we walked to the bus. No matter how frustrated we were, we couldn’t make it last very long. I was happy that even after I got angry at her, she was there for me.

She was always there for me, even when I didn’t want her to be. This happened when we got into high school and I began struggling. I distanced myself from all of my friends but she was still there for me. I was so touched that she stayed by me and loved me even when I couldn’t love myself. I began wondering if that is what it meant to be a friend.

And now we are seniors, facing the struggle that at times seems overwhelming-college. We will be attending different colleges in the fall and knowing this I been reflecting on what the word friendship has meant to me. I believe that friendship is a necessary bond formed between people; that people are brought together because they have something that the others need. I believe that friendship is experiencing life with someone, the good and the bad. The friendship between me and Katie wasn’t always easy and we weren’t always happy, but we were always there for each other. I know now why we could never stay mad at each other. It was because true friends look past the arguments and the differences and love each other in spite of them. I now know why Katie stood by me those years that I struggled. It was because she was willing to experience that pain with me, to help me work through the turmoil. I believe that is something only a true friend would do. I believe that without her friendship I would not be the person I am today. I believe in friendship.