I spent this past weekend visiting with my high school friends in Boston. After spending such quality time with them, I realized something: high school spoiled me rotten. Now, I know many people remember high school as that awkward period where everyone was just trying to fit in. Although the stereotypical high school melodrama encircled us, I became friends with some of the most amazing people I'll ever meet.
My Grandma once referred to my circle of friends as the model UN. We had many countries and ethnicities represented: Trinidad, China, India, Hungary, Taiwan, Poland, Columbia, Bangladesh; white, yellow, brown and black; jews, catholics, sihks, muslims, christians, just to name a few. Not only were we diverse ethnically, our political views were all over the spectrum, yet that never stopped us from approaching any political or philosophical debates. Our ethnic differences allowed us to learn from each other and try a ton of great food, yet they never defined our interactions with each other. In this environment, we learned just how unique and similar we all were.
Since graduation, I have yet to find another group like this. In college, ethnic and religious groups largely self-segregated. People generally avoided hot button discussions with those of other opinions, because they weren't able to respectfully disagree. But most of all, the majority of people I met were not of the same caliber in respect to moral judgements and overall outlook on life (although I did manage to find a few exceptions :) ).
Although we are different in many ways, my high school friends all have a strong sense of ethics, morality, and justice, and are largely driven to act accordingly in their careers and personal lives. They find it important to really enjoy the nuances of life and never stop learning and evolving as people. Not only are they fun to hang out with, they've all earned my utmost respect as human beings. In doing so, they've set a high bar for everyone else to follow.