Many people say that the 5 closest people around you make you who you are. Unbelievably, that is true. For most, it is their mom, dad, sibling, and two close friends. A combination of around those five people will shape your personality, behavior, and decisions.

In my younger days when I was in middle school, I mostly hung around with athletic and outgoing people. They always enjoyed to play sports, go out for drinks, and attend parties. All that time wasted affected my grades severely as I began to get Bs and even a few Cs. Surprisingly, the majority of people who I was around with were not very focused on school. They never took their academics seriously and did not understand the importance of education.

I learned my lesson in middle school and as I transitioned to High School, I wanted to become successful. One powerful step in doing so is to get a strong education and obtain a unique skill, in which people will pay and value highly. At High School, I put myself with all the extremely hard-working students. Those who took over many AP classes each year and always got above a 4.0 weighted GPA. They even have numerous extracurricular activities such as volunteer clubs, sports, and academic competitions. It was clear that they are all favored by their teachers and have bright futures. I knew at that moment those are the people I want to be close by in order to become the best version of what I can possibly attain.

As people grow older the distinction between everyone grows more clear. You can start to tell based on appearance who is successful and serious about the work they do and who love to party, drink, and do drugs. There will be more of the smell of weed and alcohol. Some of your friends may even succumb to those and end up getting wasted. Though it is not the present nor the past that determines your worth, but your potential and future.

At college, there will always be people outside playing games, walking around, and partying. There are no parents or supervision, and everyone is a free person. However, people must be careful that it is okay to have fun every once in a while, but college is a time to learn and develop a strong education. You will party your hardest and work your hardest. Now that is truly enjoying a successful life.

You start meeting people outside of school and explore the world. There will be so many strangers and one day those strangers may be your best friend or even spouse. Simply, be true to yourself and strive for perfection.


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Andy Xiang


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