Describe an important person in your life

I find it incredibly difficult to go through life alone. As humans, we look to others for guidance because sometimes we do not know what is best. Four years ago I joined a new swim team and met my best friend, Andrew. Even though he is two years older, he always treats me as his equal. He is completely selfless and always tries to bring out the best in other people. There always seem to be friendships that parents would rather discourage (especially those with older high school kids), but this was not one of them. When I first met Andrew, my parents’ approval was readily apparent. While I don’t need their approval for everything, but I do feel it added to my comfort level with Andrew. We shared a lot of personality traits, such as our sense of humor and work ethic, but what I admired most about him was how inclusive he was towards the younger swimmers on the team. He was an encouraging leader. Every Friday, Andrew would gather the guys around in the locker room and we would have a 5-minute “clap it up” meeting. We would all sit in a circle and then he would start by complimenting a teammate and pointing out something that we did well that week in practice. This activity did wonders for team camaraderie and attitude. Two years later, I now find myself leading the “clap it up” meetings. I am now the oldest on the team and I am doing everything I can to be the same selfless leader Andrew was. He taught me that the best way to improve ourselves was to improve with the people around us. Andrew’s support played a huge part in my successes not only in, but out of the pool. I have watched many friends leave for college and our relationship has dwindled because of it. This is not the case with Andrew; it does not matter if I have not seen him in a year, we will always pick right back up where we left off. Andrew often contacts me to ask how the team and I are doing. Whenever I am in a difficult situation and need some outside advice, I can go to Andrew. Just recently, with the worries of applications and swimming, I called Andrew and he happily shared his experiences and advice. I am able to create a better path for myself and attain the best opportunities possible because he helps me not to focus too myopically. Andrew and I have formed an unbreakable bond of trust with each other; because of this I am more myself when I am around him. Andrew has played a constructive and substantial role in my life. Now when I am cheering on the younger kids, “clapping it up”, or giving someone advice, I think of him. I want nothing more then to treat others how he treated me.

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