Choose your friends wisely

by Ellie Melero

It’s important to have good friends in your life.

When you’re growing up, adults put a lot of emphasis on picking good friends: people who will be good influences and help you grow as a person. If you don’t surround yourself with good people, then it’s hard to succeed in life.

The people we choose to surround ourselves with really do have a big influence on the type of people we become. The more you hang out with someone, the more of their habits you start to pick up.

 I’m sure you can think of a time when your friend started using a word or phrase and you slowly started using it without even realizing it.

That’s why it’s so important that we pick good friends in our lives. Without people helping us make sure we’re on the right track, how do we ever expect to make it to heaven?

I have great friends.

Honestly. I love all of those weirdos. They are awesome people and I am so thankful that I have the privilege of knowing them, especially my best friends. I’ve met some amazing people in college who I miss a lot when I’m not in Stillwater, and I still keep in touch with a lot of the awesome people I went to high school with.

But I literally cannot imagine living without three girls in particular. I didn’t really pick them. It was more of case where God put them in my life and I just rolled with it.

The first one is my friend Angela. I met her in second grade at Xavier Elementary School in Leavenworth. My family had just moved back to the states after two years in Nicaragua, and I guess I must have spoken with a Nicaraguan accent or something when the teacher asked me to introduce myself to the class. Because the first conversation I remember having with Angela was when she walked up to me and said, “I like the way you talk. It sounds funny.” 

Somehow, 12 years later, we’re still friends. 

Angela goes to school in Colorado and her parents live in Chicago now, so I don’t actually get to see her in person very often, but we still talk pretty frequently. I know I can always go to her for advice or to rant or whatever. 

I saw her for the first time in over a year at the beginning of this month when I went to visit family in Chicago and had the chance to hang out with her. Despite not having seen each other in so long, we were still able to pick up right where we left off, and seeing her was the highlight of my visit.

The second girl is my friend Ally. Despite Ally’s insistence that I didn’t start going to Xavier until fourth grade, I actually started hanging out with her in third grade. Our older sisters were in the same grade, too, and they played the same sports. Both of our parents would drag us to their games, and we would play with each other instead of watching them play.

Some of my best memories from middle school and high school involve Ally doing or saying something stupid, and a lot of the weird things I say are a result of hanging out with her too much. We don’t really talk at all during the school year (she goes to K-State), but when we see each other over breaks and stuff, it’s like we’re still only a couple of lockers apart. 

My favorite thing about Ally (besides the constant ridiculousness that seems to follow her around) is that she will always tell me when I’m being an idiot, which I need in my life.

Last but definitely not least is my friend Jordan. I met Jordan when we ended up on the same CYO basketball team in fifth grade; we were both bench warmers. No adult who ever met Jordan when we were younger would ever believe this because of how shy Jordan was, but she was actually the ring leader behind a lot of our bad ideas.

There’s a lot of reasons to love Jordan, but I think the best one is definitely how much she wants everyone to stay friends. I remember before graduation she was freaking out a little bit because she thought our class was going to split apart once school got out (we were a close group of 16 kids). 

She has done a lot to make sure that didn’t happen, and she’s always the one who asks everyone to hang out during breaks. She is a consistent friend and she makes sure no one ever feels left out.

I love these three girls to death, and I am so thankful that God put them in my life. I know I would be a completely different person if I hadn’t met even one of them. They have each taught me so much and have all helped me grow as a person and in my faith in so many different ways.

When you’re a kid, they tell you to make sure you pick good friends. 

I never had to worry about that; God gave me great ones.

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