From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School
The True Meaning of Friendship
By Amber Curtis
A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
I couldn’t believe that I was here again, starting a new chapter in my life. It had only been three years since I was in the same situation. But those doors were much smaller and so was the depth of my knowledge. I heard a ring and in I went. It was time to face it — the first day of high school.
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Compared to all the upperclassmen around me, I felt very small. It was honestly the hardest day of my life, and just trying to make it to class on time was difficult. I couldn’t believe that so many people knocked over others to get to lunch. What happened to waiting in line? Looking for a lunch table was also tough. High school wasn’t like middle school. It was much bigger and harder to make myself stand out. I was used to the attention and to people saying “Hi” in the hallways. Now all I heard was, “Move Freshie!”
The next week was better because at least I knew my locker combination. I hadn’t gotten knocked over in the hallways and my schedule was coinciding with my friends’. All I saw around me was happiness — the seniors catching up with each other and bragging about new loves and new adventures. And then I saw her. The prettiest girl I had ever seen: Emily Butler.
Besides the fact that she was ranked number two in her class, took part in numerous activities, was the prettiest and most popular girl in school and a teacher’s favorite, and already had a full scholarship to the college of her choice, she had class. She was a role model to everyone and wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was. She was so lucky to be so amazing — I could only pray to come that close.
As she bumped me in the hallway, she smiled and apologized. Following her were numerous boys and girls. Her laugh could be heard for miles and her teeth were brighter than a cheerleader’s positive attitude. I told myself that if I tried really hard, one day I could be just like her. She couldn’t have always been perfect, right?
As weeks went on, I joined plenty of activities and got myself involved in numerous sports and volunteer programs. One club I stumbled my way into was Mock Trial. The captain, of course, was glamorous Emily Butler. She instructed and ran the meetings and was very nice to me. As time went on, we became close and she taught me a lot. She always hung out with me and put in the extra mile for me. It was weird, but she treated me like a little sister. The more we hung out, the closer I was to the seniors. I went to parties with them and even hung out one-on-one with them. I became more outgoing and well-liked.
In December, I became quite ill with mononucleosis and couldn’t go to school for a month. After that, Emily and I stopped hanging out and again I felt alone. Then one day, she called me and asked me to chill with her. I gladly accepted. We began hanging out every day and I was more attached to her than I was to my own boyfriend. She lifted me up and again I became comfortable in my own skin. Each day, I found something more to love about her and myself.
When I would do something wrong, Emily would be there to pick up after my mistakes. When the year finally came to a close, we cried as we said goodbye. She had made my freshman year more than I could have ever hoped for. She said good luck and told me that I was beautiful and had a heart full of love. She told me that if I ever needed her, she would be there for me. She hugged me goodbye and left. Tears rolled down my face and I began to wonder how I could ever survive without her.
As my sophomore year began, I no longer heard people talking about Emily and how great she was, and I missed her loud laugh. We still keep in touch and I hope to become just like her one day. I have already vowed that I, too, will find a freshman to teach and treat like a little sister. Emily taught me that I can do whatever I want, and I will pass on her sweet lesson. She showed me the true meaning of friendship, love, and the courage to be myself.
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