This I Believe

Nicole - Burien, Washington
Entered on February 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that friends can help you overcome any obstacle in life. My obstacle was self-esteem and without the strong friendships I made I wouldn’t have gotten past my problem. I’ll admit there are times when I feel insecure or defeated but I no longer had these things close to heart like I used to. I really think it was my friends who helped me get over my self-esteem problem in middle school and helped me become more confident, like I am today.

Back in middle school I cared completely about what other people thought about me. For example, in seventh grade, this girl liked to spread rumors about me because I was dating some guy she liked. I knew that my best friend, Alyssa, in seventh, didn’t believe what she was saying. Reflecting on it now I realize I wouldn’t have survived without her. Even though she never out right told me, “You don’t need to worry about what she says about you,” I knew what she meant. We spent hours together not worrying about what people thought about us. That’s what I really needed at the time, someone to be goofy with and not care about what other people thought. However the same girl, who still likes to spread rumors about me, no longer gets to me. I know that my friends, the people I really care about, know it’s not true. We even like to joke about it because they’ve gone through the same thing.

Eighth grade was just as bad. This time, though I felt insecure about my abilities as a student. I was tested into the honors program in Sylvester and the students there rubbed me the wrong way, one boy in particular. He was very arrogant and liked to brag a lot. If I realized I was smart like I do now, then I wouldn’t have cared about what he said about my school work. I know that I’m a bazillion times smarter than him in many different ways. However I lacked the self-esteem to stick up for myself and I let him demean me. My friend, Ariel, helped me a lot by saying, “He always brags, but he doesn’t have the work to prove it.” Just her standing up for me helped me tremendously with my confidence.

Without my friends, I wouldn’t have had anyone to talk to about my pain and insecurity. I believe that my friends helped me overcome my challenges. Without them I would still be caring about what other people think about me. Everybody needs someone to help them loosen up and let go of all their insecurities and that’s what friends are there for.