Valuing friendships


Photo provided via Nicole Burkoski

Nicole sits with her close friends while she enjoys her birthday dinner. Burkoski was appreciative of the friends that came to support her because she values friendship the most.

Nicole Burkoski, Reporter

My hand is raised, sitting in English class observing the discussion questions being projected across the board I noticed not one hand was raised but my own. The questions were controversial, as they were meant to be. Being asked “is revenge necessary in life?” and “does power corrupt all who have it?” I agreed with some and disagreed with others. However, when the question appeared “who is your greatest responsibility to?” the options were “ourselves, friends, family, and our country,” The teacher went over the options to see our opinions and when she asked “who feels we carry the greatest responsibility to our friends?” I stood alone. 

Reflecting on my previous friendships, I feel nothing but regret. I approached a girl playing with Legos in pre-school and from then on, we never left each others’ side. She was my best friend and it was known by everyone who knew us that we were inseparable. As we got older I experienced my mind changing in negative ways as I was faced with the difficulties of simply growing up.  

Middle school was one of the hardest times in my life as I was bullied and began reflecting upon myself with nothing but disgust. My insecurities and stress were projected through anger.  

It has taken me many years in therapy to analyze and understand the way my brain works but at the time I did not realize the mistakes I was making. I was hurting the people I would never want to hurt, including my first and only best friend.  

Though I feel sympathy for my past self who was in pain and simply confused, I will always wish I could go back and change the way I acted.  

Eventually she ended our friendship and I did everything in my power to save it. Though my actions were useless I never ceased to right my wrongs.  

To this day I reflect upon the mistakes I have made for I have always believed in the idea of experiences being the most powerful aspect in shaping a person into who they are. Though I carry regret for this part of my past, I have used the knowledge learned to better myself.  

I now value my friendships as they are the most important part of my life and though I may not have many, the people I have in my life have been nothing but good to me. When I think about what I am responsible for in my life I do not think of myself for how I feel and what I go through can never be chosen.  

I continue to suffer from mental illness as my depression and anxiety are things I battle with every day. However, through my past experiences I have realized that treating my friends with respect and care is the one thing I can control.