A Lesson on Friendship

Jillian McGuire, Columnist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

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.