Picking the positive influences: students encouraged to surround themselves with uplifting people, choose friends wisely

Hailey McEntee, Co-Editor

This summer I went to a life-changing event called the Steubenville Conference.
One of the speakers there said, “If you keep swimming in the dirty ocean you’ll start to smell like fish.”
This might sound silly at first, but it’s really true. If you surround yourself with bad influences, you’ll conform to bad habits and attitudes.
Too many high school students walk around with no goals, no passions and no inspiration at all — they just mope through life and do the bare minimum to get by. They really don’t care much about anything or anyone. These people hold you back from reaching your full potential.
Don’t let these people suck you into their habits. Keep your eye on the prize and strive to achieve your goals.
I have been blessed to find the amazing friends I have — they are a positive influence, they encourage me to fulfill my dreams and they overall make me want to be a better person. And I hope they feel the same way towards me.
I wouldn’t trade the deep talks and life-changing conversations I’ve had with them for anything.
By surrounding myself with people who build me up rather than tear me down, I am able to grow in faith and friendships that will take me far in life.
Freshmen — high school is your chance to find that group of people who will be there for you and make you a better person. This is your opportunity to build relationships that will help form you into the person you will be. That sounds like a lot of pressure to find the right people, but don’t worry. It’ll all work out, and you’ll love every minute of it.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors — you probably already have a group of friends who you would associate yourself with, and that’s awesome. But just take a step back and think about if these people are a positive influence on you. If they are, that’s great — keep growing closer to them and cherish every minute you have with them. But if they aren’t a positive influence, maybe consider branching out and meeting new people. There are so many people to meet at Blue Valley, so don’t limit the amount of people you get to know. You could come across a new group that you really fit in with. And even if you feel like there’s no way you could get out of a bad friend group, just keep in mind that it’s never too late to turn things around after making mistakes.
So don’t get caught up in the big smelly ocean, and don’t let others drag you down and drown you. Seek out the friends who lift you up and make you want to be a better person.