High School doesn’t change you; people do

DONEWhen I was a little kid, my parents chose my friends, putting me in playgrounds or arranging play dates with kids they knew and liked.

But now that I’m older it’s apparent to me that I have the power to choose my friends and how I spend my time.
I’m just trying to figure out who I am, what I believe, what I’m good at, what my responsibilities are and what my role in this world is going to be.

Despite the nostalgia, I looked forward to being in high school as a kid because I wanted to feel older as soon as possible.

Once I got here, I felt like high school was what I had made it out to be. This was a place where I could be with my friends and not feel pressured to be something I’m not. My friends made me feel secure, like who I was, was enough. I didn’t need to fit the mold of others’ expectations.

Recently, I had an epiphany; before, I used to think that high school changes people. But now I realize that it’s the people one chooses to affiliate with who change them, not the school itself.

Anywhere you go you can find trouble. My dad has always offered me the analogy, “If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you’re bound to get your haircut.” Meaning if one is around bad influences long enough, eventually they will get themselves involved in immoral activities.

I have seen my friends from elementary school change drastically — some for the good, as they’ve found their group of friends, their clique, but others for the bad. They have found a group of friends that are not the best influences.
One reason for this may be that with age we receive the luxury of making our own choices. However, growing physically doesn’t give us maturity, nor does our age define us. In high school, we choose our friends, which in turn brings about a new sense of independence.

College fraternities are a place where common values and likes are shared. Before getting into the frat house, pledges must do unbearable tasks before making the initiates a part of the brotherhood.

However, if Kappa Beta Pi is more about having parties than making connections with each other, the pledge tasks would have just been collaborative damage, a waste of time.

High school influences can change people, but I haven’t let them change me.

Will you be the pledge for the wrong crowd or will you be independent?