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Fresh Face Friday - Mary Beth

I am so excited to kick off this new series. Each Friday I will be posting an interview with someone new. For this first series of Fresh Face Friday, I’m introducing you to women who I think you’ll find really inspiring - mostly relating to the next generation of strong women.

First up, say Hi to MaryBeth. I love her and I think you will too after hearing what she has to say.

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(1) Tell everyone a little about yourself.

My name is Mary Beth. I’m 16 years old and in 11th grade. I have a twin brother who keeps me laughing and an amazing Mom and Dad who always look out for me. I run cross country and track. I love photography and enjoy going outside.

(2) What does being a friend mean to you?

Being a friend, to me means that you will stick up for each other, respect standards, listen and genuinely try to help, be a positive influence in their life and be as understanding as you can when giving advice.

(3) Why do you think it’s so hard for people to be a good friend? And why is it hard to find a good friend?

I think it can be hard for people to be a good friend because they worry about their own busy lives and forget that we are here to help each other. I think it’s hard to find a good friend, especially in high school, because many of my peers are trying to figure out what the next step in life is. And a lot of them change as they figure out what their new lists of priorities will be.

(4) What are the most important character traits to develop in yourself?

I think the most important trait to develop in myself is compassion, patience and the ability to not only listen but to understand what that person needs. I search for someone who is positive and makes me feel uplifted. Something I learned while in my awkward years of middle school was girls are mean. I did not belong in my new friend group and they were quick to point that out. After struggling through 6th grade I learned that something I needed in a friend was someone who would lift me up, not tear me down.

(5) How does technology affect friendships today?

I think friendships can benefit through technology. For example, I’m able to keep up with a friend I met at EFY in Georgia this past summer. I also think that technology can have a negative impact on the development of close friendships. Technology can spread negativity and rumors that can separate you and someone you care about. In an age of technology, I have seen friend groups get upset over posts, videos and messages. Technology can be the fine line between keeping up with someone and pushing others away.

(6) What would you like to see change with your peers?

One thing I would like to see when interacting with my peers is that we extend more forgiveness and compassion to each other. I wish that we would come to understand that we are trying to figure out this earthly experience. We all struggle with that one class we can’t wait to get out of, too much homework, and other extracurricular activities. We need to be a little less harsh on ourselves and our peers because they choose a different path than us. I would love to see that when we talk with older generations we are respectful of the challenges they have already gone through. Even though times have changed a little, they understand and remember the struggle of high school and so many other challenges the younger generation will soon encounter. I try to keep in mind that trials haven’t changed throughout the years, how old we are when we experience them and how we approach them does.

(7) What makes you a good friend?

I think that what makes me a good friend is that I try to be as bubbly and bright as I can because someone else needs to catch a little bit of my energy. I’ve always believed if you are positive more people will want to spend time around you. And I think when you’re the positive one in the friend group, people associate feeling happy and fun memories to you. And if I can make sure that one person feels happier after spending time with me, then I have been a good friend.

(8) What advice would you give to someone who feels lonely?

My advice to someone that feels lonely is to remember you have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior who care so deeply about you. These feelings of loneliness will soon pass, I promise! You are going through this because someone else might need to relate to this similar experience. Although you feel lonely now, I assure you that if you push through with a smile, turn to the Savior and serve others, it will get better.

(9) What are some effective ways to reach out to other people?

An effective way to reach out to others is write them a note or send them a text letting them know you were thinking of them. I absolutely love when I get notes in the mail, I love it so much I keep them as little reminders that people care. And that’s just a simple way to reach out to others but it ca make a big difference.

(10) Tell us about an experience when a friend helped you.

I would say that I haven’t had a consistent ‘best friend’ that I have relied on for my whole life (unless you count family) so it is hard to name a specific time one friend has helped me. Because as I have gotten older, I have realized that God knew who I needed at that exact moment. As I have seen friends come and go, I have shared many experiences with each of them and they have helped me in so many different ways. I continue to have the impression that Heavenly Father knows me and is so aware of me that he sent me a friend that he knew would best suit me through a trial or circumstance I found myself in.

(11) What or Who inspires you?

My mom inspires me.

(12) What do you hope people say about you when you’re not around?

I would hope that when I am not around, people would say how positive I am and how much I genuinely want to make others feel welcomed.

(13) Fun Facts:

Favorite Color: light pink

Favorite Hang Out: park in the summer but usually when I hang out its somewhere near food

Sweet or Salty: Sweet

Favorite Vacation: Hawaii

Summer or Winter: Summer

Pizza or Tacos: Pizza

Dream Job: speech therapist or photography

College of Choice: BYU

You guys!! Is this girl wise beyond her years or what? I love her emphasis on being positive and trying to understand where someone else is coming from. No matter your age, I think we could all use some tips on friendship and I couldn’t think of anyone better to share some advice than Mary Beth.