I saw this picture of girls from Teen Girls Therapy Group and immediately thought about my own friends back in school and my days in the 7th and 8th grade.In middle school, I can honestly say those were some of the best years of my life.. I had a great group of friends- I mean literally we were a large group of about 14-16 girls with a bond like no other. We had good teachers (some of them I sometimes could have went without), but I can honestly say they gave me tools that I have carried with me through out my life. Most of all….We had an amazing principal who demanded nothing but the best from his students and he encouraged us DAILY!! That man was everything you would hope for in someone who is guiding your younger years in life- an encourager, a disciplinarian, fun, loving, and he never went a day without praising his students.. One thing that he said (and I promise that if you asked any student that was ever acquainted with him would all say the same thing) that always resounded loudly with us was a quote, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”
“Show me your friends and I will show you your future”
Now don’t get me wrong, we heard him loud and clear. Yet sometimes it takes a few years to see the things people have told you come to light. Back in middle school, I only had friends who were smart, goal-oriented, ironically all had old school parents who DID NOT play!! (lol) We were the group of girls who were sometimes called the “goodie two shoes” or stuck up because we didn’t involve ourselves in certain things. We were the ones in all Honors courses, did extra curricular activities, community service and stayed busy and focused in our lives from early on. We loved dancing, reading novels, writing, and just being our creative selves. Granted we all had some hobbies that excluded us from the rest, yet our strong similarities were what helped us create the strongest bond.. The result?? One of us has a famous fitness blog, another is a teacher, one is high ranks in the military, one is a counselor for women healing from sexual assault, and the list goes on… Of course I myself am in Sales and Marketing for a large corporation and beginning my passion of encouraging young ladies to be on a path of excellence. And we are all still good friends to this day!
But I said all that to say this.. We all made something of ourselves. Not one of us is failing in life because we stayed focused on our goals, we had the right friends that were all like-minded in ideas on life, love and our future.. And NOTHING stopped that. I am extremely proud of each of their accomplishments.. WE ALL DID IT!! (Of course we had a group of guys who were in the mix as well and all doing great in life as well.)
Now for the alternative…
Then you had those kids who didn’t take advantage of their education, were focused on the opposite sex, premarital sex, the next new game, or the latest trends in fashion, etc. They were the ones who thought it was funny to act out in school, curse, talk back to teachers, fight and just give a bad light of themselves… And now most of them only have JOBS… They live paycheck to paycheck, never got out of our hometown, smokers, in the club every weekend, with multiple children, but no spouse, still obsessed with the latest trends, and still doing the same old things in life. It’s sad.They failed to take advantage of the opportunities in their lives. We all had the same humble beginnings, yet it was all about how they chose not to further themselves in life. Sometimes I wished they could have turned their lives around, but not surprised at what the outcome was..
So I say all of that to say this: watch your association! Your friends can shape your future whether you believe it or not. You may have your entire life to live, but you don’t have the opportunities to get wasted time doing mundane things back. So build yourself up with like-minded people, who are determined to have success in their lives. These are the friends who encourage you to have good habits and who will cheer you on when you are all doing well. Our principal taught us early on while although we were hearing, but not fully listening that those who we associate with shape our future. Maybe it’s time to evaluate some of your friendships or to start building goals with the ones you have. Learn to read different types of books and focus on your hobbies- whether dance, art, or sports. Enjoy being young, but remember to still keep your focus because your past will shape your future.
Trust me I advocate this to my own little sister all the time and I don’t always tell her how proud I am of her success. She is such a leader just as I was- She is the head of FBLA this year, makes straight A’s, all Honors courses and taking high school courses in middle school (she’s ironically a reflection of myself). I tell her all the time about her association and that is because I almost lost sight of that by hanging with people and doing some things that were so out of my character and element.. I never swayed from my foundation, yet I wasted years of associating with people who were on a path that was far off from mine. They had no short or long-term goals, they didn’t want to travel and see new things, they would go to work, but they weren’t ambitious to work for their goals and they weren’t with a spiritual background so their morals were slim to none… I had to give myself a wakeup call and I can honestly say I have no regrets.. Those same people are in those same circumstances and I did otherwise.. But my original group of friends and I are still the same. So take this keen advice as something that builds fire to examine your surroundings and inspiration to be great!!