Thursday, November 23, 2017

ICON-in-Class: Lasting friendship is a gift worth the effort

In a candid exchange, two friends examine the nature of the ties that bind them

BY BATELHIM BELETE-JOHNSON AND D’ANA SMITH

D’Ana: I think this would all be a farce if we didn’t start off by saying it took time and effort to get to the place we are today in our friendship. We can both stand up with confidence and say that we truly are a blessing to one another. Our differences make us stronger, yet those differences are exactly what tie us together.

Our friendship is a balancing act. Though we may not always like it, the other is sure to be there when the other begins to slip, and a much-needed pull is given to get back on track.

You can often find us bickering about the simplest things, but supporting each other at the most poignant moments, because that is what it is all about.

I often feel that it is Bate’s strength In a candid exchange, two friends examine the nature of the ties that bind them that is most inspiring. She has experienced many obstacles in her life and she continuously prevails. It is much more than that though; she exudes a strength that spills over onto others. We have been friends since freshman year, and just like our friendship has changed, so have we as individuals.

Batelhim Belete-Johnson, left, and D'Ana Smith attend Las Vegas Academy.

Bate has a constant fire that burns from within, and she uses that to better those around her. She has pushed me, and then pushed me some more; but I can say that it works out to my benefit. The one thing about her that is most touching is her loyalty. I guarantee you she will fight for her friends until she just has no fight left. All of these qualities have contributed to our grace together, and our occasional fall — but I know that it only makes us better as a whole.

Batelhim: I admire D’Ana’s positive energy, which lifts up everyone around her. She will always nd the good in people, and the great in what may seem like the most unfortunate situations. Just being around her makes me strive to have the same outlook. Everyone who knows D’Ana well knows that she is a good friend to all, and continuously tries to help anyone in a time of need. She genuinely cares for others, and has a kind heart — which is rare in friendships nowadays.

One thing I find so intriguing about her is her discipline. The girl would rather stay home on a Friday night to work on an essay than go to the premiere of a new movie. She pushes herself to excel above and beyond expectations, and with excitement to learn new things. When asked why she acts with so much conviction, she replies simply, “I need to get into college.” As well as pushing herself, she never forgets to push her friends to prioritize what is necessary for a successful future.

D’Ana: We will always be there to balance the other out, to correct one another when we are wrong, and to, most importantly, support each other. Bate complements me just as much as I complement her. Our friendship has evolved like a budding rose. We started off so fragile, but now we stand tall and beautiful; and just like every rose, we have our thorns, but rest assured they are only to protect the beauty of anyone who would mess with the other. We guide each other in ways we could have never imagined.

We are better friends to one another because of each other.

Belete-Johnson and Smith are students at Las Vegas Academy High School.

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