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Huskies Unleashed

Huskies Unleashed

“This I Believe” by Sam Kind

AP Lang ’23

I must constantly remind myself of the younger me that has supported my journey to where I am today. As a young child, I never really considered what my future self would think of me. I went through life concerned about my sister’s opinion, my brother’s opinion, my parents’ opinion, my teacher’s opinion, but never my 18 year old self’s opinion. I grew older, and I began reflecting on my childhood. Instead of the nostalgia one usually feels toward a naive child, I am filled with embarrassment and ridicule toward her. I think to myself : “What possessed me to do that?” or “What made me think that was a good idea?” or “What was I thinking?” Granted, there are many things I have done that would absolutely be categorized as humiliating and cringey. I think back to middle school Sam, watching her the same way I watch horror movies: on the edge of my seat, screaming at the screen, hoping that they’ll hear me telling them not to open the door, wanting to close my eyes but being incapable of looking away from the gruesome mess. But, at the same time, I really was just being myself. Children, myself included, seem to be growing up at an exponential rate recently. As people grow up and get pushed into fast paced society, it’s important to remember that we all are extensions of our younger selves. Many people believe that looking back and dwelling on the past is unhelpful because it can hold oneself back.

While there are definitely extreme ways of looking into the past that can prevent personal growth, I like to view it as a positive way of thinking that makes me feel more confident in my decisions in the future. Looking back on my younger self and carrying her with me through life created empathy, not just for myself, but for others. As I navigate my way through adolescence, trying to survive the treacherous warzone that is high school, I often forget to acknowledge what it took to get here. With never ending bumps in the road, it’s hard to not feel frustrated at the world, disappointed in myself. As I continuously beat myself down, I remind myself that I would never say those things to young me. We give so much leeway to children because they’re still learning how the world works. Why should I be so much harsher on myself if I, too, am still figuring everything out? During times like exam week, it is so important for me to recognize that I am still learning. Thoughts of self doubt flood my mind: I see no possible outcome for success, I am not cut out for the life I want to lead. These thoughts are not beneficial to me in the past, present, or future. In order to keep my compassionate thoughts afloat, I must build an ark to escape the flood of self doubt. It’s hard to keep my head above water when the world seems to be the rock that is tied to my ankles. But, with the strength I’ve acquired along the way, and the knowledge I have gained, I make my way to the surface of the water, hand in hand with young me. It has taken time and great effort, but feeling a sense of gratitude toward my younger self has proven to ground me in the world I live in today.  I truly believe that reflecting on my past self, and holding her close to my heart, motivates me to become the person that little me would be proud of.

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    Sam PiperFeb 27, 2024 at 11:00 am

    I really love this