Proverbs 18:24 (The Message) puts it pretty plainly... "Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family."
When I was in high school, I hung out with my little group of friends. I was pretty quiet, and although not in the "in-crowd" I still had quiet a few people that were in my group. We went to games together, proms, dinner, rode down Slappey Blvd and sat in parking lots (when it was legal).. we just had fun. I had friends at church in my youth group that I did alot of things with as well. I considered myself a pretty all around person with ALOT of friends.
I still talk to some of those people from time to time, but I realized when things in my own life were kind of out of control, that God placed certain people in my life for a reason and I learned very quickly who had my back and who was just there for the fun.
"So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it." I Thessalonians 5:11 (The Message)
I would definitely say that it is important to be around people of like minds, like values, like goals. Honestly, when I was 18, it was all about the next party I could get too, 20 years later, I can tell you that it is about me and my family not only being together here, but being together for eternity and the only way that is going to be possible is for me (and you) to surround ourselves with people who have the same goals in mind. They will get on to you if and when you need it, laugh when its funny, listen when necessary and encourage and share your walk with Christ so that not only will you be family here, but also in heaven.
Its cold. I like cold weather, but it's REALLY cold right now. Be safe if any of you have to travel or be out in the rain, ice and snow! And as always, " be blessed and be a blessing"!