STUDENT life is one of the most memorable times of our growing years. Most of us have many treasured memories associated with it. Ties formed during these years usually last a lifetime.
In this article, I’d like to talk about how friends influence us when we are in school. It is the reason why we should be careful when choosing our friends.
Birds of a feather flock together which aptly indicates that a group with similar values, interests and attitudes will always be together. Now this outcome is neither positive nor negative in itself. It really depends on the group a student associates himself with.
An alumni gathering as seen. MRSM PC 1973 (all boys batch) somewhere around Shah Alam, October 2015
Friends have a unique position in our lives. It’s one of the few relationships that we aren’t compelled to accept, but will fully and consciously choose to let into our life.
Parents, siblings, relatives and children are all relationships that we have no choice in accepting as it is decided by destiny and fate.
But friendship is a true bond that is a result of decisions made by individuals on their own free will.
It’s important to remember that the choice of friends will have a big impact on your life as students.
There’s even a saying which exemplifies this: Show me a man’s friends and I will tell you his character. Such is the immense impact of friends on our lives.
As students there will be many temptations and attractions that you will be exposed to.
If you don’t have the mental strength and discrimination to make positive choices, then the results could be life-altering and negative. These ties can either be good or detrimental to you. A good yardstick in deciding your friends is to first be aware of your responsibility and duties as a student. Definitely, the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom in the hallowed halls of your schools and even your universities, should be the top-most priority.
Having understood this, then naturally your friends should be those who share the same aims and objectives. Anyone who acts as a distraction to this core duty isn’t someone you should be associated with.
The reason is simple – if your friends aren’t people who motivate and support you, then they really aren’t your friends at all.
True friends are those who help us when we are down. They can also be colleagues and comrades in the pursuit of a better life. They will help you with your studies and enlighten you when you are confused. They will motivate and spur you to work harder and strive unceasingly to succeed and make your life a brighter one.
Friendship can be a powerful tool in shaping even one’s values and habits. Many studies have shown that bad habits such as smoking, drug abuse and even pro-anarchy behaviour such as vandalism are closely related to peer pressure.
I’m not advocating a victim mentality here for those who make mistakes, but I’d like to heighten the awareness among students that their behaviour can be very much influenced by their peers. So, they should choose their friends and even associates wisely.
Looking back, I must say that I have many good friends and some are from my school days. Thomas and Hasliza come to mind immediately. There were supportive, helpful and motivating.
I’m lucky and proud to say friends like them have been my inspiration and acted as a catalyst for my personal and academic growth. My parents had inculcated in me at a young age that I had to pick my friends “wisely and rightly” and for that I am thankful. There is no doubt that I have great friends.
I’m hoping this article gives students some valuable pointers in deciding whom they want to call or regard as “friends” as this is a privilege. Finally, I’d like to ask parents to take an interest in getting to know their children’s friends.
If all parents can reach out to their children’s friends, it could be a powerful “force” in making sure their children are on the right track.
Parents can monitor their activities, this way.
Building a relationship with teachers in school will also go a long way for parents to nip a problem in the bud, should it exist.
To parents, I must reiterate that it is in your interest to know your children’s friends.