EAST LONDON, Eastern Cape, South Africa – When I think back on my years at high school, I remember how, sometimes, the only thing I could get up for in the mornings was knowing that my friends would be at school waiting for me. Friends are paramount to your life, but bad friends can also ruin your high school years.
Since those high school years are going to happen whether you enjoy them or not, here are a few guidelines.
Make NEW friends
The saying goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old, the one is silver, the other, gold.” You may be lucky enough to have all your old friends come to the same high school, or you may be totally new. Regardless, this is the time to meet new people. There’s nothing as boring as the prospect of spending your whole life with the same little group of people.
BE a friend
Unless you’re Paris Hilton, people are going to expect you to act accordingly if you want their friendship. This means supporting them even if you think their crises are pathetic and sometimes doing things you detest because you know it’ll make their day.
Friends don’t have to be your twins
You don’t have to enjoy the same things (it helps, though) or even believe in the same things. Versatility is good! As another old saying goes, “To have a friend you need to close one eye, to be a friend you need to close both.” If you can get along without judging each other and without forcing each other into uncomfortable positions, you’re good to go.
Find friends who pull you up to their level
It’s important that you have friends who are driven and positive. Their “vibes” will influence you in a positive way and when you have those kinds of friends, nothing is stopping you from being friends with people who need you to pull them up. DON’T allow friends to make you compromise your values.
There is no true formula for friendship
You will learn by method of trial and error. Trust your gut and be wary of people who make you feel uneasy. However, also remember that some people just suck at first impressions and may turn out to be pretty decent people. Whatever you do, let it be your own decision.
Mariechen Puchert is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.