About, 14 of the 19 people that got on my school’s honour roll (ATARs of 90+) were from my friendship group. How did we manage that?

I endeavour to make decisions to try and set me up for the future which I am sure many other people are doing as well!

One of those decisions involved choosing the people I hung out with. I found that because I was consistently surrounded by a group that had a strong work ethic and good morals. The flow on effect of that was me taking steps towards what I wanted to achieve.

Here’s why you should be mindful of your company:


1.    They influence your success

There are a million and one quotes about how the company you keep influences your character, who you want to be etc. It’s a very shallow statement that you can’t really believe until you see the fruits of the seed. I’ll bring it back to the honour roll. 14 out of 19 people on the honour roll were the people I hung around with. Perhaps you can make your own judgement from that. Were or were they not key factors in influencing each other to achieve an ATAR over 90? If you look at the logic of it, it makes sense that how the company you keep could ultimately affect your future successes.


1.    Good company keeps you in line

There is always that one group in school who always stick together, drink, smoke, skip class and disturb the learning of others. They encourage each other to make poor life decisions without realizing the potential repercussions of their actions. Good company, the people that encourage you to aim higher are the ones that most likely won’t lead you astray. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women in the world said.

Positive progress is non-existent when hanging around bad company that promote negativity. Their thoughts and actions influence those who surround themselves with them. They may think it’s ‘cool’ but I personally, and many of my other friends never saw that as being ‘cool’ because we were way too preoccupied setting ourselves up for a prosperous future.

Good company isn’t only about those that are ‘smart with a good work ethic.’ It can be friends with lovely characters, personalities and outlooks on life. People who try their hardest and friends who have your back and stick with you through thick and thin. Those are the people you want to keep company with throughout VCE and ultimately, through life. If you surround yourself with happy, energetic and positive people the vibes that they give off will rub off on you. 

Can you change the people you hang out with?

You can. It’s difficult but you can. You may have to cut off unhealthy and toxic relationships such as those where you are being manipulated and people who are deceitful. That feeling of loneliness is often what leads us to purposely making wrong choices so we can feel accepted; so we can fit in to a group.

The first step is realising that changing the company you keep can have dramatic effects on your future. Once you realise that and you think you are in bad company then the next step is to withdraw from that negative group and start attempting to hang out with positive people. It may take a while because they may at first not accept you because of the person you were before but give it time and keep persisting. Focus on what you could gain out of it rather then complain about the emotional pain you’re putting yourself through.


It is honestly, never to late to make this decision. If your future really mattered to you then you would do whatever it takes to make sure that at the end of it all, you achieve what you want.


A good friend of mine, when he was in year 8, hung out with the wrong crowd when he was in year 8. Straight to his face I told him that, ‘you’re hanging with the wrong crowd, you’re better than this.’ I knew he was smart and had potential (which everyone does) but I knew this guy personally and I’ve seen on paper how great his test scores were when he put in effort. At this stage, he wasn’t doing anywhere near what he was capable of. I’m not even sure if he was passing with Cs but he didn’t seem to be doing great academically at all.

Thus changing the people he hung out with he was encouraged to study.Him and his friends still had a good time but they encouraged each other to work hard. They understood the principle, ‘you reap what you sow’ i.e. you get out what you put in. At the end of year 12, he managed to get into a course he was happy with.

Make your own conclusion about whether what this article says is justified. I’m only writing this because I firmly believe that a lot of people can benefit from what I and others have learnt through our years in high school.

In a classic way to finish off an article, here’s a quote by our one and only Will Smith.

 “You can tell how far in life you’ll go by the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with.”

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