I’ve always considered myself someone who usually has little to no problems making friends.
Throughout almost all the stages of my life, wherever I have gone, I have found friends to laugh with, cry with, and make countless memories with. Unfortunately, however, some friends that I chose were the ones I made a lot of mistakes with.
In high school, I found friends who always liked to push the boundaries, and I was either known as being someone who was morally sound or a really big prude who didn’t like to have fun. While my parents considered me foolish for choosing the friends I did, I liked to tell myself I was trying to see the good in people where it was less obvious. So I continued to associate myself with people, most especially boys who didn’t respect me for who I actually was, and never really cared about me because I wasn’t what they considered to be extremely attractive or worthwhile.
The average person detests their high school experience; it’s considered natural. But I think we can all agree that the mind of a high school boy (or girl) can be an unjustly vicious territory, we can also admit that it holds unrealistic expectations. However, I was unaware that these expectations to be blonde, have the body of a supermodel, be a virgin, but somehow be “experienced sexually” were unrealistic, unfair, and not in the mind of every single man I’d come to meet. So I left high school feeling battered and afraid to face a mirror, because while I’d won over the fair-weather friends (both girls and boys) of high school by making them laugh with self-deprecating jokes, I didn’t think I was worthy of any sort of relationship that involved dignity and lifting each other up.
But then… something miraculous happened. I decided to go to an extremely small, Catholic college. I couldn’t tell you why I chose it; it wasn’t because I was a devout Catholic looking to seek God, quite frankly I was tired of the whole “God thing.” But it was here, that I met some of the best people I believe I’ll ever meet. I started to meet guys who respected me, and appreciated who I was. They wanted to be friends because they liked talking to me. Better yet, I started to meet other girls who wanted to live life, have fun, but also wanted to find God and their real purpose in life.
In short, it’s the friends who’ve seen you at your worst, and stick around to help you pick up the pieces that really matter. So take some time and evaluate your friendships. If you find that you have friends who are only there for the good times, and won’t put up with you when you’re unhappy, chances are they aren’t the people you should be hanging around. I’ve been lucky enough to find the greatest friends I’ll ever have in college, and some quickly after that, but I know that it’s not always easy. Start going to places where you associate with positive influences; they aren’t always stuffy, I promise.
Let this be proof to you that there are real people in this world who will care about you for who you are, not because of what you can give them. Let this give you hope for better relationships to come. Let this be a reminder of what you are worth.
I believe in love because I have found friends who continually remind me of my worth and who help fulfill me, and I believe that these people will continue to stick around for the rest of my life. I also believe that these relationships can lead to the best kinds of love (romantic or platonic) and eventually, to the best version of ourselves. Most importantly, I believe that you can believe in love too.