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Editorial: The True Value of Friendship in High School

Eniyah Matthews, Staff Writer

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In high school, groups of friends are one of the things that students primarily focus on. Between arranging to spend time together, showing off their friendships on social media, and having a group of friends that are known for being together constantly, so teenagers may say that they prioritize the relationships with their friends over their own families. Some teenagers feel this way without realizing, as rebellion from their parents often start in the freshman or sophomore year of high school.

However, the question on most parents’ minds is: Why is it like this?

Speaking from personal experience, I know that my mother would get upset when I’d come home from school, upset about a petty argument with a friend or mad about something that was said or done to me in school. She’d always ask, “Why do you allow your friends to have such control over your feelings?”. The reality is, friendships in high school validate who you are. Movies such as Mean Girls or Carrie have shown that being the outsiders in school who stays to themselves during lunch periods is not what is desirable.

Even though high school’s main focus is to prepare students for college and to start considering a future career, many students focus on what actions they need to take to gain recognition from a majority of the student body, not caring about whether it gives them a positive reputation or not. It makes it seem that, without a solid group of friends and lots of social media attention, you are an easy target to harassment from other students, which can be the case at times but is not always what happens. At this rate, being in the school’s Anime Club can seem more humiliating than sitting by yourself in the library.

An unfortunate trend seen in most high schoolers has been maintaining toxic or unhealthy friendships in order to maintain a certain “status” in the school, or to make it seem as if they aren’t completely lonely. Let’s be honest, 90% of students who have social media accounts on platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram post almost every second of every encounter with their friends daily. While some just post these things as appreciation for their friends and to save some pretty good memories, many do it to prove a point to others. For example, when two friends get into an argument and completely cut off their friendship, they might go at it on social media posting about their “new best friends” and how much they enjoy their company. This happens way too often with high schoolers on social media, and it isn’t a healthy coping mechanism.

If someone is hurting us so bad that we start to look at ourselves differently, then they don’t deserve to be called a friend. They don’t even deserve to be called an acquaintance! I’d rather stay in the house by myself for weeks on end than surround myself with people who don’t care about my well being, don’t want to see me improve as an individual, and don’t bring out the best in me; that is what a real friendship consists of.

Think about it: Are they your best friend because they can be by your side as much as they can, or because they go to Starbucks with you every weekend? It is nice to have friends who can spend quality time with you, but if they don’t bring anything else to the table other than after school plans, then these aren’t the friendships that you should invest yourself in the most. A friendship is 100% effort from both sides, not 75% and 25%. I’m appreciative of the old friends that I had that have taught me this important lesson.

To make a long story short, yes, in high school you should try to make as many good memories as you can and enjoy life to the fullest, before you get hit with the responsibility of college. However, this can’t be your priority. The priority should be gaining enough respect for yourself that you know what is good for you and what isn’t, and when to take toxic people and people who could care less about you out of the equation. Focus more on your family life, not your friends. Make as many memories as you can with your family before you go off to a school that’s hours away from home. We’re all stressed enough with the overbearing responsibilities that each class on our nine period schedules give us, why let unhealthy or useless friendships add to the mix of that?

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You Can't Hide That Falcon Pride!
Editorial: The True Value of Friendship in High School