Surround yourself with close friends

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

There’s an old Frank Sinatra song that goes, “And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain.” Never has that line rung truer in my life than now.

My time here at Manhattan High is nearly done. I have my final band concert tonight, my final newspaper in your hands and my final sporting event within a week. It’s kind of crazy.

While here, I’ve learned so many valuable life lessons. I’ve learned how electricity is like cookies from Mamolo, how the Chiefs are better than the Broncos from Sapp and how communists should not be trusted from Jordan (those sneaky commie blanks).

In all honesty, I did learn the value of close friends. Throughout the last four years, I’ve been blessed to have a group of seven other guys from my youth group that I’ve grown close with. So many of my high school memories involve at least one of these guys. For example, just this last weekend, instead of writing this column, I went with three of them to Manhattan Hill and ate Ramen Pringles and Rolo ice cream (definitely not a horrible combination that makes you hate life) while looking up random Bible verses.

These guys have seen me at my worst (there’s a lot of that) and maybe at my best. They’ve made fun of me (a lot) and had fun with me. They’ve listened to me as I’ve shared failures and challenges in my life and helped me work through them.

Most importantly, they’ve given me a place to belong. Sure, there’s many times when I don’t want to be around them for various reasons, but at the end of the day, they’ve got my back. As one of the Proverbs in the Bible says: A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (Proverbs 17:17 ESV). These guys are like brothers to me.

Finding people like this is important. Many of you will still be at this high school next year, and so you already have those people. However, some of us are moving on. Whether it’s going off to college, going into the workforce or just plain moving, we need to search out those close friends. Establishing those close relationships will help us navigate any tough part of life.

It is important to remember that we don’t just get when we have close friends; it requires giving as well. As much as I’ve told the guys about my life and asked for advice, I’ve tried to do the same for them. If you don’t try to be a good friend in return, it’s not a friendship; it’s a therapy session.

By putting work into the relationships, they become so much more. They become a sort of family, someone always there for you even if others are not.

And so, as I close my final column as Editor-in-Chief of The Mentor, I ask but one thing: find people who you can call close friends, who you can call family, and change the world for good together.

Signing off for one last time,

Jacob Clanton

Print Editor-in-Chief