02/19/2014 05:20 pm ET Updated Apr 21, 2014

What I Look For in a True Friend


It takes effort to be a real friend and to find a true friend. I have many people in my life and many sets of friends, but there are only few that I consider to be true. My friends are more than an "accept" button on Facebook, and over the years I've learned the only way to have a best friend is to actually be one.

I've learned over time the meaning of a good friend. I've learned that there are certain qualities to look out for when choosing a friend and that there are many important pillars of a friendship.

Loyalty is one of the qualities in a friend that I value most. "A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have." A loyal friend is someone who supports me and takes my side even if they don't agree. A loyal friend is someone who has fun with me in good times, but more importantly someone who is there for me during the bad times.

Trust is another important quality I value in a friendship. Before you can expect your friends to trust you, you must prove to them that you are trustworthy and you must learn to trust yourself. Trust to me is someone that will hold my secrets safe, always. You can never maintain a friendship if you don't tell the truth, even if it hurts.

I also like to surround myself with friends who are accepting. My friends are patient when I make mistakes, they are forgiving. My friends remind me to look at my mistakes as a way of getting better and improving for the next time around. They accept me for who I am and walk beside me, never in front and never behind.

When choosing a friend I also look for honesty. I want a friend that is going to be truthful even if the truth hurts. Oscar Wilde once said, "True friends stab you in the front." I hope that if I ask my friend for their opinion they will let me know exactly what they think.

Not only do I learn a lot from my friends, I've learned a lot of valuable lessons from my character Emma on Jessie. In the second season, Emma goes through new experiences when she enters high school, which most girls my age will face or have faced. Bullying is an important topic to me. Every girl should know they are strong and unique in their own way and should learn to lean on their friends during times of bullying. Your real friends will help you navigate through these tough times. Don't be afraid to express how you feel to the friends that want to listen. Come together with these friends and seek help from an adult if moments get too tough to bear.

My friends are special and unique. They always remind me that there's something out there to smile about, even when I'm feeling down. My friends remind me to look at the glass half-full. They are there to remind me that a drifting or dishonest friend is an opportunity to meet someone new, a bad grade on a test is an opportunity to learn something new and a mistake is an opportunity to get to know certain situations better that will prepare you for the future.

My friends have taught me that you need to be a friend in order to find one. Say "hello" to those that don't speak much and smile at someone you don't know. My true friends laugh with me, cry with me and truly understand me no matter what! I thank my friends for helping to shape me into the person I am today, for standing by my side showing me the true value of loyalty, trust, honesty and acceptance.

Tune into "Jessie" on Friday, Feb. 21 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on the Disney Channel for an upcoming episode about friendship, kindness and acceptance with guest star Stefanie Scott (Lexi Reed) from "A.N.T. Farm."