#HowISurvivedHighSchool Part 3: The Truth About Friends and Friendships

May 29, 2019

Hi there, welcome back to the blog!

            Today I’m back with another part of #HowISurvivedHighSchool.  I’d like to know, are you guys enjoying it?  Is there anything specific you’d like me to talk about at some point during the series?  Leave me a comment or connect with me on social media and let me know.  Also, if you aren’t caught up with the first two parts, I’ll link them here:

As always, I’m going to copy and paste the “rules” I posted in the first post.  It’s important for me to mention them every time because I don’t want anything I say here to be taken out of context. 

1.  This is a 6 week series and a new part will be posted each Wednesday (so mark your calendars.)
2.  I am NOT here to call anyone out or speak poorly of anyone I’ve encountered throughout my High School career.  That’s not my vibe and my intentions of writing these posts are to encourage; not to bring anyone down.
3.  I will be talking about certain people I’ve encountered and things I’ve experienced, but please know that NO NAMES will be mentioned; if a name has to be used it will be changed.
4.  All the things I am going to tell you are true and are my stories that I have a right to tell.
5.  Please read/listen with open ears and hearts.
6.  Some of the topics I will be discussing are mature and very series at times so if you can’t handle the intensity, please feel free to click out at any time.

So today I wanted to talk about a very important part of high school: friends.  Friends play a very significant role in your life so I think it’s important to build ones that last.  Unfortunately I’ve had very little luck with that, especially in high school, and I’ve learned that most people are going to come and go out of your life but there will always be those few people who come into your life and stay for a long time.

I remember at the end of 8th grade I saw this post online and it said “the people you hang out with in middle school aren’t going to be around for all of high school” and now at the end of high school I can fully confirm that saying is 100% true.  During high school everyone goes through so many changes and sometimes people don’t change with you.  Furthermore, high school is vastly different from middle school; it’s almost like a totally different world.  Everyone is basically trying to figure out themselves and who they are as a person.  Sometimes this creates tension in your relationships.

So in high school there are these things called “cliques.”  What that is essentially is a group of people that gravitate towards each other in large groups.  In a sociology class I took a while back, we learned that people with similar personalities tend to form these cliques.  However, from what I’ve seen, cliques are just another way to stereotype.  You’ll see where this information comes into play when it comes to friendships in a moment.

Something I haven’t talked about much on here is my experience at co-op.  Some of you probably don’t know what it is, so I’ll explain quickly.  What it is basically is a group of homeschool families that meets weekly to have classes like art, science, and drama, in addition to the work at home.  I was involved in my co-op for 8 years.  Looking back, there were a few pleasant memories made, but for me it was just not a good environment for me to grow up in.  Out of all the people that were there and friends I made, on this current day I am not in contact with any of them.  I’ll get to why in a bit.

In my grade there were 3 cliques.  The first one was made up of the “popular” kids, if you will.  The second group was the kids who were the quiet, more introverted ones and the last group were the kids with disabilities.  It sounds so stereotypical, but for the purpose of this post you need to know.  As the years went on and we got older, it only became more stereotypical.  In the beginning it was easy to do group activities because everyone talked to everyone, but the “popular group” only became more distant from everyone else.

You might be wondering where I fit into these groups.  To be honest, I really didn’t fit into any of them; I just bounced around between all three because I really tried to get along with everyone.  My longtime best friend was in the popular group so I spent a lot of time with them, but I didn’t really fit in with them and was often left out or in the back of the group.  No big deal at first, I still hung around the other groups.

Then something happened in summer of 2014 that changed the course of my friendships with these people.  I’m not going to take the time to explain what happened, but long story short me and one of the populars had a very public falling out on social media.  It resulted in most people taking sides, and everyone pretty much took this other girl’s side.  The situation itself is not significant anymore but the tension never left. Life went on though, this girl and I never reconciled (even after I made 2 attempts) but everyone else seemed to get along just fine.

There were some big problems with these people.  The popular ones.  There is a reason I eventually chose to distance myself from them.  At co-op they were constantly having attitudes, making unkind remarks to other students, and just flat out acting stuck-up.  There is no better word for it.  There were major bullying issues and the adults did next to nothing about it.  Some of them even contributed to the problems.  People were skipping out of gym because the teacher always favorited the populars and the other kids weren’t treated fairly.  Some of the behavior I witnessed from these kids makes me sick to my stomach to this day whenever I think about it.  One time, one of the said popular kids said to my friend (and I quote) “I’m better than you.”  I’m.better.than.you.  No other context, just “I’m better than you.”  I will never be able to erase that from my mind.  And her attitude that came with it, her parents should be ashamed. 

One thing I’ve learned after all these years is that sometimes you don’t realize how badly you’re being treated until that person is out of your life.  The way things ended with these people was far from good terms, but I’m so happy they are out of my life because I have people in my life now that made me realize how bad these people were for me.  I haven’t spoken to these people in two years.  However, I have ran into them a few times in public since then and I have to say, for people who proudly call themselves “Christians”, their behavior towards me was far from Christian like.  Little or no eye contact, pretending I’m not even there at all, not even a wave or smile.  It’s really hard to believe they were what I once called my best friends.

After going through a very, very dark and scary period of my life in 2017, things finally started to look up.  I wasn’t feeling depressed anymore, I actually wanted to leave my house, and I met some new amazing people who have changed my life.  People who genuinely care about me, make time to spend with me, and aren’t ashamed to be seen with me.  They helped me get to a better place in my life and allow me to be myself.  I thank God for giving me the strength to let the bad ones go and for bringing better people into my life.

There’s a quote by Alexander Graham Bell that I think beautifully illustrate this: When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”   I like to remind myself of this whenever a relationship ends or an opportunity falls through.  There is always a reason and most of the time it’s because God is making room for bigger and better things.  So if things aren’t going well right now, just remember that it could be a sign that there are better things coming.

I want to be completely honest with you for a moment.  I recently celebrated my graduation (which I’ll be talking about in an upcoming post) and I had three friends show up.  Now I had plenty of other people too, but my point is, you can have all the friends in the world but out of all those there will only be a few real ones.  I didn’t even think about the people who didn’t come because I’m thankful I have three really good friends that took the time to celebrate my graduation with me.  I’d take that over having many fake friends any day.

So if you take away anything from this post, here’s three main points I want you to remember.  First, don’t hangout where you know you don’t fit in.  Second, let go of those unhealthy relationships in your life!  Remember, when a door closes another one opens.  Third, value your close friends.  They are the ones that are going to be around for a long time. 

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