You may not be able to choose your family, but you can choose your friends. I owe a significant amount of my success to the friends I chose in life, and here’s why:

Before I knew I could choose who I was friends with, I encountered my fair share of bad friendships. In my teens, I befriended people who cared more about their looks and boys than they did school or work. I didn’t see this as a problem at first, because what teenager wants to prioritize school over their social life? As I grew older, though, my mind naturally gravitated to thinking about my future and my career. Meanwhile, the majority of my friends were stuck worrying about high school drama and what they were going to wear to Friday’s football game.

Photo courtesy of Deviant Art

Photo courtesy of Deviant Art.

I felt like I was light years ahead of my friends, but instead of waiting for them to catch up to me, I chose to keep going. Fortunately, this led me to the friends I have today. Once I got to college, I befriended people who were just as determined and motivated as I was to be successful. Consequently, the friends I have now care about their future and have set high goals for themselves. We enjoy talking about internships and career aspirations, conversations I rarely had with my old friends.

The best part about these new friendships I’ve formed is how they’ve affected my success. Simply put, it’s a lot easier to feel motivated to do something when you have a group of people surrounding you and supporting you. If ever we are having problems at work or applying to jobs, my friends understand because they are going through exactly the same thing. There are plenty of people out there who will be jealous of your success, but if you choose the right friends you will have more supporters than enemies. The friends I have in my life are excited to hear about my job interviews and how my day at work went. We support each others’ goals and aspirations.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Had I associated myself with a different group of people in college, I honestly don’t think I would be where I am today. I could have partied all through college and rarely shown up to class. Instead, I (and all of my friends) are graduating at the top of our class, and a few of us have already been offered jobs after graduation.

Surrounding yourself with successful people isn’t enough to be successful yourself. It’s surrounding yourself with people who care about your success and are willing to push you to get there. My friends and I push each other every day, and for that I am so grateful.