the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

  Authors & Artists


Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5

Advice for a Loyal Friend
Susan Walker
Fredericksburg, Virginia - Print Journalism

        I hope for you the best of luck in all that you do in life, but along with my support, I wish to remind you not to forget your values. For example, do not run off at the mouth while you’re at college. The wiser speak slowly and think quickly. Therefore, thought should precede actions. Be cordial and friendly with everyone you meet on campus, but do not allow yourself to become so comfortable that you lose your manners in their presence. After all, you must present yourself to everyone at all times as a young woman who is professional in carriage and mannerism. I need not remind you of the value of a strong friendship (after all, we’ve known each other through thick and thin), but I will: You should hold on to those you have made friends with in the past and those who you have shared meaningful life experiences with. Don’t forget them, because when it seems as though there is no one else to talk to, they are there. If at this point you’re thinking what I’m saying sounds weird, just remember the time we decided to go our separate ways only to end up calling each other when we really needed to laugh and talk about how cool we thought we were in middle school. Just because you make new friends does not mean you should forget the old ones, but of course, you seem to know that lesson too well. College is a microcosm of the world, filled with a variety of backgrounds, ideas and cultures. Invariably, there will be differences in opinion. So I warn you, do not get involved in altercations or choosing sides, but if you are so passionate and you find yourself in an argument, make sure your opponent or opponents realize that you are a force to be reckoned with. On a similar note, you should listen to everyone’s opinions and be slow to judge. As I mentioned before, college students come from many backgrounds which influence what they say, so do not take their words to heart. Never allow your sensitivity to color your attitudes.
        This, amongst all of my advice, is the most important. I know you will often be tempted to spend money on “extras,” (i.e. a closet full of shoes is not necessary) but I caution you to live within your means and always get the best your money can buy. Remember, people often judge you based upon how you dress, so be careful of how you present yourself in your clothing. Never borrow from others and never allow others to borrow from you. If by some chance, a borrowed item is not returned, the result is mistrust or the loss of a friend. Borrowing from others is often a sign of an inability to take care or to meet your own needs. Most of all, Jeneen, you should know who you are and remain faithful to the values you believe important; in doing so, no one can think you are anything other than genuine.

© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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