Of all the things I have learned at Allendale High School, one stands out from the rest. This is not something physical, not something factual, but something of character. The most important lesson I have learned at Allendale High School is friendship. Not just how to be a friend, or how to make friends, or what the true meaning of friendship is, but the truth that friends change and friends grow.
This lesson was especially evident to me because I transferred into the Allendale Public School system from a Christian school where we had just thirty students in our entire class. As a transfer student, I knew less than a dozen people at Allendale High School going into my freshman year. I grew distant from some of my friends who had been with me for years, but, this was by no means a bad thing. I made many new friends, some of whom I may be friends with for years to come. We may grow old together; we may have to go to one another’s funerals. Most of my current friends, however, will leave my life after we graduate, and we may only keep in contact through Facebook, if at all. Some I may see at our class reunion, where we will reminisce about the golden days of youth. And then I may very well never see them again.
The true lesson is this: though friends change and friends grow, I will always have friends. I will lose some on the long road of life: some to distance, others to death. And I will also gain many friends in the future, even though I will lose some of those, too. I have learned, after all, that friendship is not always forever, but forever, we will have friends.