Choosing Friends At School Essay
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Friendship, Friends, Students, School, Education, Choice, Life, Principles
Friends are an important component of the ones social life at any stage in life. Many times, one is required to choose friends in order to belong to a specific social group (Moody, p.683). One of the most crucial parts in the school life is the choice of friends in a new environment. For instance, on joining school, the society expects an international student like me to choose new friends that he or she can identify with in the school social setting. This is challenging due to the difference in cultural background (Blatchford, p. 98). The choice of friends can be a problematic one for a student in school especially when the friends chosen have bad moral fibre. Since one will identify with the friends at school, they school community judges them according to the type of friends that they associate with. Therefore, it is important for one to be cautious on the choice of friends in school.
One of the purposes of having friends is socialising and sharing ideas (Blatchford, p. 78). In school, friends tend to stick together during the various activities in the school. The friends tend to have common interests and therefore they play together, have their lunch together and even form study groups together. When one chooses bad company for friends the friends circle erodes ones moral values. Through the repetitive association with the bad company, one ends up picking bad habits from the friends (Blatchford, p. 38). For instance if one choose friends who are involved in drug and substance abuse, they will be influenced by the friends and he or she will start using the drugs. A person in bad company departs from the moral teachings and adopts what the friends are doing. This is peer pressure (Blatchford, p. 51). Even though he or she knows that what the friends are involved in is not morally right, they are under the pressure to do it because these activities are what make him or her acceptable to the group of friends. This is dangerous to the life of the individual. It may end up ruining his or her life if there are no interventions to correct the deviation.
In light of the strong impact that one’s friends have on one’s life, it is imperative that one chooses friends carefully. Every individual has his or her personal traits and principles that together make up his or her personality (Moody, p.687). These principles define what a person is to the outside world. They guide his or her interactions with the society. In order to grow in life, one needs to work progressively on their personal principles to enforce them and embed them in his or her life. In line with the purpose of personal growth and development, it is prudent that one chooses friends who have the same life principles.
The choice of friends with common life principles is healthy for personal growth. The interaction with friends who share the same values and moral principles works to enhance and reinforce ones personal principles. This association with people of good character keeps the moral behaviour of a person in check (Moody, p.690). Since the friends share a common moral principle, they can correct him or her in the case of a deviation from the moral principles that they share. For instance, if one starts abusing drugs, the friends will be there to intervene and this will keep such an individual in check. However, if one chooses friends with whom he or she does not share common moral principles, any deviation from the morals will be encouraged. Therefore, it is of great importance that one’s choice of friends is guided by personal values and principles.
In the school setting, people who are friends usually participate in group activities. These include sporting, taking lunch together and watching movies among others (Blatchford, p. 30). In the personal growth of an individual, there are various milestones on the way. At the end of every phase, there is a new one. In each phase of life, there is exposure to novel experiences. Since one spends most of the time with friends, the indulgence in the new experiences is encouraged by friends. This includes relationship matters, fashion choices, career path and financial choices. In each of these experiences, the individual will face tremendous pressure from the peers. The correct choice of friends in such a case is important. This is because, the type of pressure received in this case will be positive (Blatchford, p. 55). The friends will only encourage and support indulgence in novel experiences that are positive if they are the right friends. However, if the choice of friends is bad, there will be negative peer pressure. The bad friends will promote indulgence in new experiences that are not beneficial to the individual. As a result, the pressure experienced from such friends will ruin rather than build the individual. Good friends will lead you on the right path while bad friends will mislead you. Therefore, one should be cautious when choosing new friends.
There is no a specific procedure of choosing friends. The choice of friends is a social process that can take any projection. However, it needs to be under the guidance of some basic rules. The prime rule is that when it comes to choosing friends, one should look for common factors that make them a social group. The formation of friendship bonds may start from a scratch. It may also involve joining an already formed group of friends who have common interests. In the school setting, different groups have different reputations for different traits. When one is choosing friends, he or she should avoid the bad characters no matter how influencing they seem to be in the school. This is because; friendships are about personal development as opposed to popularity. The friends chosen should have not one but several things in common within the school community. This way, the friendship will be all round and there will be more opportunities to spend time together and indulge in the various activities. If the friends chosen have fewer things in common, the bonds formed will not be as strong since they will spend less time together (Moody, p.691). This increases the chance of falling in the bad company and this may jeopardise the friendship.
As mentioned earlier, the character of a person is in a constant process of growth and development. The growth adds more definition to their preferences and interests. The environment around one has a great significance to the definition of one’s character. The most crucial stage in the character formation of an individual is in the school setting. This is because in the school, there are people from different backgrounds and this is a rich ground for exposure to different social backgrounds and dynamics. During this time, there is the ever-increasing urge to conform to the society around an individual. Therefore, it is crucial that during this time, one surrounds him or herself with friends of the same character. This way, the character growth will be in line with their personality. During this phase, one should avoid bad company as this has a detrimental effect to the character of an individual.
Another important element about the choice of friends is the quality of friends. Common interest alone is not an enough factor to consider when choosing friends. Quality friends are the associates who not only share common interests with an individual but also those who can contribute positively to the growth of an individual (Blatchford, p. 88). The purpose of the schooling process is to change a person holistically. As one leaves the school, he or she should have developed academically and personally. The positive influence by the friends that one chooses is the greatest contributor to personal development. This is because quality friends will be honest with you and help one identify their weaknesses. After the identification of the weaknesses, the friends also help one to work on their weaknesses and become better. Only good friends can only give this positive influence. Bad company on the other hand provides negative influence. Rather than contributing to the growth of the individual, the negative influence will ruin the individual and change hem or her into a worse person.
Lastly, good friendship lasts for a long time. Therefore, it will have a long-lasting influence to the individual. In the later stages of one’s life, one will interact with different groups of people. The ability of an individual to interact with different groups of people will depend on the quality of the friendships that one formed in the school. One can infer the behaviour of a person with different groups of people by observing his or her interaction with different friends over a long time. The long time is essential in nurturing tolerance, understanding, politeness, self-expression and even leadership qualities. This shows that the choice of quality friendships is not only significant in the school setting but also later in life when one has to interact with people in a different setting.
In conclusion, the choice of friends is a tricky part of the school life of an individual. One should tread carefully when making the choice of friends in school. One should avoid bad friends at any cost since they will likely ruin their character and reputation. One should choose friends who they have common interest with and those who can have a positive contribution to their personal development. This ensures that their choices in life are under positive influence. The good friendships formed in school also shape the ability of one to fit in the society after the years in school. Good friendships nurture good moral character. Therefore, one should endeavour to choose friends wisely and avoid bad company.
Blatchford, Peter. Social Life in School: Pupils' experiences of break time and recess from 7 to 16. Routledge, 2012.
Moody, J. Race, School Integration, and Friendship Segregation in America. AJS Volume 107 Number 3 (November 2001): 679–716