I wrote the following post when I was still in high school, and thinking about it today, it is just as pertinent now as it was then. Enjoy.

As graduation gets closer everyday (61 and counting), I am constantly looking at the relationships I have formed with people throughout my highschool career. Some of them, I am grateful for while others I ask myself, “What were you thinking?” These friendships, good and bad, have determined the course of the last four years of my life while also playing an important role in the next four years and life beyond.

Friendships are so important. I can’t imagine attempting the ups and downs of life without them.

Because of their importance, we must be so careful in choosing who we decide to trust with our thoughts and emotions. I can look at people in my life and see exactly why they have a backstage pass to the real Madison. I can look at others and see exactly why I kept them at a distance. Then there are those who I had no business trusting, but still managed to work their way through my defenses.

Seeing both the positive and adverse affects of helpful and harmful relationships, I encourage you to examine the people in your life and determine whether or not they deserve to be there. Do they treat you with respect at all times? Display actions making the friendship seem mutual? Or do they take advantage of you by relying on you for entertainment when there are no other options or when they need answers to the homework due during the next class period?

Everyone deserves to have companions who keep each others best interests at heart and look out for one another. These people are not easy to find, so be patient. Don’t feel obligated to be friends with anyone; being kind and being best buds are two different things. You have the liberty to weed out the toxic relationships, so do it. It’ll leave room for the people who truly care for you.


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