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The Importance of Friendship

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Amanda Reyes from Secondary 3E reflected on her journey during the Home Based Learning (HBL) period, when many students were unable to meet their friends physically. For some, this could be a traumatising experience. For Amanda, she recounted about how blessed she was to have companions whom she could rely on during that trying period. Amanda said, “Not everyone is as lucky as I am. Thus, I wanted to share about the importance of friendship and showing our gratitude towards our friends.” Through this speech, she hopes to encourage fellow Fairsians to establish stronger bonds with their friends, and to extend the hand of friendship to those who may need it. (This speech was delivered in July 2020 during morning assembly.)

Amanda’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, Teachers and fellow Fairsians. I'm Amanda Reyes from Secondary 3E.

During the recent HBL period, I realised how important friends are in my life. Did you miss your friends during this period too? I certainly did. Let’s take some time to think about our friends: who are your closest and most dependable friends? I’m sure many of you can immediately think of one or more of your good friends. They are people whom you can rely on and whom you’ve shared many memorable moments with; be it silly incidents, or times when you had to support one another to overcome difficulties. Thus today, I would like to share with all of you a few reasons why friendships are very important, and how you can be a better friend to others.

Firstly, one reason why friendships are important is because good friends will always be there for us when we are going through tough times, as they provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. They will be there to listen to our daily rants, support us, and ensure we do not have to face these challenges alone. In fact, friendships play a huge role in maintaining our mental health. A recent Harvard study found that spending time to communicate with our friends can improve our outlook on life. Light-hearted humour and happy memories with our friends refresh our mind and help us to overcome negative thoughts. This means that we will feel happier simply by spending time with our peers. Therefore, having good friends is important, especially during tough times.

Additionally, friends can give us that additional push to overcome our fears and achieve our goals. On many occasions, people stop striving for what they desire due to fear. Friends can help us when we step out of our comfort zones and motivate us to achieve our dreams. Through this process, we feel encouraged, as our friends will support us all the time as we make progress towards our goals. Without our friends, the road to success will be significantly bumpier. Overcoming obstacles together can strengthen our friendships and bring us even closer to one another.

Now, I am sure many of us can agree that friends are very important people in our lives. So, you must be wondering how you can in turn be a better friend to others. One simple way is by being a better listener. Sometimes, it's more beneficial to comment less and listen more, because only when we truly listen will we fully understand what the other person is saying. This will not only help us to better understand our friends, but will make them feel more supported. All these will improve our relationships. Thus, I would like to encourage all of us to put our distractions aside the next time we are with our friends and be fully present during our conversations.

Another way is by simply showing gratitude to others. Simple acts like saying “Hey, thanks for always being there for me!” can make a great impact. I know it sounds cliché, but it is true. Showing that we appreciate our friends can help cultivate better and stronger friendships. It is important to express our gratitude when we have been blessed by our friends. However, when our friends go out of their way to assist us, we do not need to feel obliged to return the favour. Such gestures are not always necessary. In fact, if we insist on returning the favour, it may make the relationship feel transactional.

Allow me to share my personal experience. Recently, my friends helped me through the dilemma of taking up the role of Head Councillor. When I expressed my interest in being in the executive committee of the Student Council, I knew that there was a chance I could be selected as Head Councillor.

I still remember the day I was told that I have been selected as Head Councillor. Though I was overjoyed, I was instantly overwhelmed with concern. After school that day, I remember talking to two of my best friends about it. I expressed my anxiety of not being able to handle all my responsibilities and my fear of being judged by others. I was so thankful when they reminded me about how I was not alone in this journey. They also encouraged me to take up this challenge. This is just one of the many instances where my friends have been there to guide me through challenging situations. So, to all my wonderful friends, thank you once again for always being there for me.

I would like to end off my sharing this morning with a quote by Walter Winchell. ‘A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.’ I would like everyone to think of someone who has been there for you through all the ups and downs in your life, and consider expressing your appreciation for them. Just saying a simple sentence like ‘Thank you for being my friend’ has the power to let them know how much you value their friendship. Lastly, I would like to leave an afterthought for all of us: Imagine a world without friends. How would it be like for you? Perhaps this is a good reminder to look beyond our cliques and reach out to those who might need that friendship. Start small by looking out for such people in your classes. After all, our school’s theme this year is ‘blessed to be a blessing’, so why don’t we make the choice to be a blessing to someone today?

Thank you and have a wonderful day ahead.