It's amazing that in an instant someone can waltz into your life, and change it for the better . . . or for the worse. We've all had people come into our lives who taught us vital lessons on life. Some of them stayed and continued to help us become the very people we are today. And others, well not so much. Something I learned from a book I recently read called, Life's Playing Field, is that people can either serve us in one of two ways. They give us an example of what we should be, or what we shouldn't be.

Friendship can sometimes be a difficult relationship to maintain; it takes a lot of work and communication. But are we paying attention to who exactly we're choosing to call friends? Nowadays it's the norm to call everyone your best friend. We've stripped this title of its true definition: a person's closest friend. A friend is someone you hold a close connection to, trust with all your secrets and fears, and who you have a mutual love for. A best friend is someone who falls into all of those categories and so much more. I've made the mistake one too many times of calling certain people my friends, let alone best friends. You can definitely say I've had to learn the hard way about who I keep close to me. But despite all the people who did me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world.

I've learned so much about myself throughout the process of losing friends. I came to the realization that I'm worth so much more than a person who doesn't value my feelings. And to be honest, it's because of that lesson that I'm forever grateful for the friends that I've lost. I've learned to not settle for mediocre people, and only befriend people who want me to be happy and successful. There's no sense in making friends with someone who doesn't want you to be better. Positive vibes is what you want in your life, so surround yourself with it.

I wouldn't call all the friendships that didn't work out bad ones. Some of them didn't go past the middle school playground, others didn't even make it to high school. The ones that did make it to high school fizzled out because our interests changed . . . no harm in that. Some of them ended over unnecessary drama, like most immature friendships do. Now that I'm in college and I like to think a little wiser, I don't call every smiling face I come across a friend. When it comes to choosing your friends, choose wisely and be as picky as you want to be. I truly believe you are who you surround yourself with; so why not surround yourself with people who can help you be a better you? You should want the most out of your life, and that means spending it with good people. From best friends, to just friends, acquaintances, and rivals. Eventually, we all just become . . . strangers with history.