Thanking You for Being You

Richard - Davie, Florida
Entered on October 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

What makes a person what they are? Or maybe a better question is who makes a person what they are?

Friends and the people I associate with are probably the biggest influences on my life. Through conversation with others, I learn more and more about myself and how to be myself. My friends provide a reassuring feeling that allows me to be myself and not question my sometimes stand-out behavior. They let me be unique and not be judged, a characteristic that only true friends have. In school, others may find me to be a little off-the-wall and eccentric at times, but it’s just me being me and my friends bring out this personal individuality in me.

The connections I make with people have the ability to expand my horizons as an adult and at the same time can bring me down the wrong path. Making the choice between good friends and bad friends can totally affect a person’s life and even my young life has been affected by it. As teenagers, my friends and I are highly susceptible to bad influence and their ramifications whether they are drugs, risky decisions, or making the right choice. The ability to analyze people and choosing the right friends can determine the success of my future and the continuation of my future. Having the right friends can determine life or death in some cases. I am fortunate that I have good friends.

My friends have opened up the world around me. They have enriched my life and taught me to do many things that I love to do. In my freshman year in high school, I joined Cross Country, not because I was a star runner or naturally had the prowess to be successful, but because my friend wanted me to. I have then committed myself to improve, 1,000’s of miles run, and have become a better person. All of this was done with my friends and probably would not have been possible without them. Now, two years after I began, I am competing with the top runners in my area, have broken a school record, and have made many new friends and had many healthy laughs because of Cross Country. If it were not for the day that my friend asked me to do Cross Country, I would truly not be the person I am today.

My gregarious attitude toward life has changed me. The more and more people I meet and friends I make slowly shape me into a stronger, more confident, and better person. Others have a strong influence on our lives and having friends that provide good influences are invaluable importance to the building of a strong person and strong character.

I believe I would not be the person I am today if it were not for others.