• Mercedes Benstock

Guilty by association?

Yesterday I was tweeting, when all of a sudden I asked my self: if your friends define you. The older and wiser I become, I realize that the people you surround yourself with, defines the person that you are (at least from an outside perspective). Derived from the title: Guilty by association. I guess this first became clear to me, my freshman year of college when I became friends with a girl that everyone disliked. I’m someone whose friendly to everyone until you screw me over. So I gave her the time of day and given she was always nice to me, I was always nice to her in return. Later looking back at this alleged friendship, I realize that it was more of a “partying thing,” than a “friendship” thing. I can name every club we went to on a daily basis during the summer of 2010, but yet I don’t know what her major was, or what High School she went to. Rumors would go around about what a “bitch” this girl was, and soon enough we both got labeled “bitches”. Within about 6-8 months of the school year starting, l I saw who she truly was as a person, and sadly but surly the rest of my grade-were right. But although our friendship died, my association and reputation didn’t. I’ve even gotten told before by multiple people that because I was friends with this certain someone, they presumed that I was the same person that they were (aka a huge bitch). Which wasn’t the case? As they say “never judge a book by its cover”. Well, in this situation we can familiarize the fact that even the contents page of the “book” didn’t look bitchy to me. But after a few months went by, I got to learn who the person really was and we later parted ways. P-a-r-t-i-n-g our friendship instead of partying our friendship. Years later and entering into my senior year of college this August, I can admit that closing this door of friendship almost three years ago, has opened up plenty of others. While I can’t quite say I have the best reputation for choosing friends or boyfriends for that matter, what I can say is that each friendship teaches me something different. Personally I would never want someone to prejudge who I am, based off of who my friends are. Not because they are bad in any which way or form, but just because we are each individuals. I think it’s important to get to know someones character before assuming who they might be, or assuming that they are just like their friends in every which way possible. When I asked other people this question, most parents said yes. Which I guess makes sense now that I think about it, because when we were each younger, no parent wanted their kid hanging out with the class rebel, or the class slut? Why? Because you would be guilty by association and if the class rebels doing drugs, you probably would be doing drugs also. I suppose it’s a controversial question, with many different answers. So then aside from asking elder generations I also decided to ask some of my closest guy friends, who of course each had very different answers from one another. One said that if he first met a girl, who was surrounded by a group of girls conveying a certain appearance-he would assume that she was just like them. While another said that he would’t judge a girl based off of who she was friends with because “then again whose opinions do you care about other than your friends.” Girls on the other hand openly admitted to judging people by who they were friends with. “Obviously if Stacy is a bitch, then Maggie is also” simply because the two of them are best friends. (names have been changed) and then it ties in with-if you don’t like Stacy you obviously wouldn’t like Maggie or wouldn’t like to like Maggie just because she is friends with someone you hate. It’s a very confusing world we live in-but at the end of the day, weather we like it or not, we are always going to be judged by someone out there.