A Lesson on Friendship

Jillian McGuire, Columnist

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Laughter rings throughout the car. The music is low compared to the sound of laughter. Next to me are some of my new friends. I feel squished, but happy. I feel proud of myself. I deserve this feeling. I think of my seventh grade self who craved moments like this desperately.

I remember spending nights crying and complaining about not being liked to my loving parents. Eventually I decided I would just be myself, and to my surprise that’s when I became the happiest and made the best friends. 

Eventually I decided I would just be myself, and to my surprise that’s when I became the happiest”

— Jillian McGuire

Now when I am having a bad day in school, because it appears my hard work doesn’t pay off, I find my best friend and she hugs me. This hug reminds me the value of a best friend. I do the same for her when she needs me.

I moved schools in seventh grade from Lisbon to Mount Vernon. While the distance was not far, the change was one of the hardest things I have ever had to face. When I moved, I expected to instantly fit in and make friends quickly. The truth is that things don’t work that way. You can’t force friendships. I spent my entire middle school years changing who I was and doing everything I could to be liked. I ended up mostly alone and in a deep pit of sadness.

This year, I have decided, is my year. I vowed that despite junior year being deemed the hardest year, I am going to make it the best. I will create laughter and I will laugh. I will make memories with new friends. I will make memories with my friends I have had since the beginning of high school. I will hang out with anyone who expresses an interest. I will be myself authentically. I am going to talk and not care who thinks I talk too much or that I am annoying. I have my people and those who love me enjoy hearing me talk and make stupid jokes. I deserve the feeling of true acceptance. The lesson I have learned is that you are happier and attract more friends when you are not focused on whether or not others will accept you.

Jillian’s Journey is a column written by junior Jillian McGuire reflecting on her high school lessons. It appears bimonthly on The Mustang Moon.