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INTOTHEBEST Scholarship Winner

Class of 2007
Congratulations to Melissa Silverthorn from San Diego State University

Scholarship Essay Question

Would you prefer that your friends display loyalty or brilliance?

  Melissa's Essay

On September 5th, 1996, at 8:30 A.M., my mom was driving me to my first day of kindergarten. On the way, she was reassuring me that I would be fine and make plenty of friends. She said that she would arrive to pick me up at 12:25 (when school was over) and that she was looking forward to hearing all about my day. She told me that for every friend I made and told her about, she would give me $0.25 to buy something with at the store after school.

Walking into the classroom, my teacher told us to go find a seat at one of the tables. Not knowing anybody, everybody found a table to sit at where we would feel comfortable. Thinking back at that day, each and every table of five-year-olds had something distinctive about it. They each had a category that was set by a specific feature. There was the brown-kids table, and then the table with everyone who was overweight. There was the glasses table, and of course the girls with the cute frilly dresses. I was a little dirty blond-haired kid with a pony tail. So every student that was sitting at my table was dirty blond-haired with a pony tail.

It is weird to look back and ponder the idea that at just five years old, we were able to arrange ourselves like that by so called “accident.” At only five we weren’t the smartest things on the planet, however common sense told us to sit where we felt comfortable. That spot was by the people whom we shared something in common with. People who we knew would accept us and would believe in us. We were not set out to find somebody who knew everything, because then that person would feel that they are better than us and would try to boss us around. We had parents to tell us what to do, and when to go to bed. We had parents that reassured us and were loyal to us. We had parents that supported us going to school and making friends. And we had parents that would give us a little reward to encourage us to make friends. But we needed friends with that same characteristic of loyalty, but from a different aspect. We wanted somebody to still support us, and still encourage us, but with a lower level of leadership. We knew at just the age of five, that we wanted people who would stick up for us even if we had the dirty-blond hair. We wanted to sit by the people who would accept us. We wanted the people who we knew would be loyal to us.

Now that I am in ninth grade and a freshman in high school and my hair is a light brown, my selection of friends has changed. Now that I have further discovered what I am seeking for in my friends I look into the inside also. But my selection of friends is still based on that one key. The strongest power which holds a friendship together. A term that is the most important aspect in being friends with somebody, loyalty.

The definition of loyalty is “firm in supporting or faithful to one’s country, family, friends, or beliefs” (Scholastic Children’s Dictionary, 96’).This definition is exactly how my friends act to me, and I act to them. This base is what makes us cherish our time together as friends. Even as five-year-olds, we knew what to look for. It was in our hearts and our parents helped push it through. So when the question pops through of what is more important in a friendship, brilliance or loyalty, nothing is more powerful then loyalty, for it is the building blocks to a sturdy relationship.

Melissa Silverthorn

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