This essay is about how people influence each other every day and the impact of who you allow in your lives.

The people you choose to surround yourself with shape you.

This I believe.

Sami was a girl in my first grade class, she was the person who I chose to be my best friend, and unknowingly chose to shape me. In first grade it all started. I was shy and timid, I didn’t have many friends. In third grade we grew very close, and by that time we had a small group of little girls we called our friends. I was shy and insecure. By fifth grade we were inseparable, having many different friends in different groups ( which was easy in elementary). I was insecure but openly friendly. Seventh grade, we were now closer than ever and our 6 years of friendship was so strong, nothing could break us. I was friendly and happy, mostly outgoing; all traits she had. I often think, “wow, I am so glad I bettered myself. I'm so glad I have confidence in myself.” but truly, did I achieve that on my own? Sami made me realize who I am. Growing up with her brought out the best parts in me I never believed I'd have. My third grade self would be proud. Sami made me believe that I didn't have to be shy. Sami made me believe in best friends. She made me believe in myself. Sami showed me that if you surround yourself with good people, it brings out the best in you.

That was how I personally was shaped by someone in my life, but America as a whole has bettered itself from its people as well. people are surrounded with different viewpoints now; for instance, racism. People aren’t born racist, racism is taught. I know this because the racism in America has decreased, not liberated, but decreased. People were taught this way of life in past years by parents and communities. Now, it is taught to be wrong and it happens much less often. So even the big ole’ America is swayed by the people surrounding her.

Not only do the people surrounding you affect you, but so do the people you lack surrounding you. Taking a more devastating turn, the Parkland School shooting. The convict, Nikolas Cruz, was surrounded by negative kids and wasn’t surrounded by his parents or healthy adult figures. The boy made a clear point in the reasoning for his actions; kids would make fun of him, teachers didn’t help him, he had a bad school experience. Then while at home, he was adopted when his dad left and mom died. He claimed his new dad would call him a dumbass, ect. Im sure not having an honorable adult figure, yet having terrible classmates made his early years unpleasant. Maybe, if this boy had surrounded himself with different people, so many lives could have taken a different fate.

Everywhere you look someone is affected by someone. From small actions like a smile in the hall or choosing not to say that rude comment. Or long term actions like being a best friend. Have you ever noticed you pick up one of your best friends habits? People change people. I hope people realize this before it's too late. I hope people find themselves someone who betters them. Or better yet, I hope people be the person who betters others.




Royal Oak High School Lundy Language Arts

Angela Lundy's ELA 9 classes 2017-18.

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