In elementary school is when I first started to really have friends. Just the experience of choosing friends taught me a lot about who to trust and who was worth putting up with. The first friend I made was Emily Wallace, and she had a very large influence on me. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad, sometimes she had no influence on me whatsoever. She was the one that initially taught me how to be “popular” in grade school, beleiveing that we were as good as the fifth graders that were such imposing figures to us. My second friend was Hannah Gregor. She taught me a lot about relaxing, and not worrying about getting perfect grades. Over the years she became more responsible, but I won’t ever forget her rolling her eyes at me when I explained why I was worried about not doing the math boxes that were assigned the day before. She would patiently explain that she hadn’t done them either, and to just come up with a really good excuse. That influence was not a good one, but she also influenced me to be more comfortable with myself, without caring how “cool” or “popular” I looked. This contradicted Emily’s veiws completely and in grade school, I had two different personalities, depending on who I was with. My peers had a huge amount of influence on who I am today, though I tended still to stick with what I felt was right. Without them, I would just be always stressed.
In school years, family became my support system. Still, my parents communicated with me on a daily basis, ensuring that nothing bad was happening at school. They taught me the importance of good grades, and rewarded me for a good report card. Their influence remained strong, never waivering as I grew. Still, they taught me what was acceptable and what was not, and they taught me which rules were set in stone, and which were allowed to be broken under certain circumstances. It was during my elementary school years that I started to look up to Sydney, and started to attempt at being a role model for Gabby. Through this experience I realized the importance of holding onto what I knew was right and wrong, through doing things that now seem silly and getting punished. Of course, through the many illnesses that I endured through elementary school, my family taught me that health was something that I was lucky to have when it came. They taught me our religion, and influenced me to become stronger in my walk with God. This entire experience changed my life dramatically, making it simpler, and more carefree.
In my middle school years, school was very important to me. The first (and only) detention taught me to plan ahead, rather than foolishly forget something repeatedly. ELP taught me that sometimes lesson plans aren’t the most effective, and sometimes just going off on random tangents teaches more than any lesson plan ever could. One teacher who has influenced me greatly has been Mrs. Danker. Funny how my ELP teachers always teach me the most, not just in academics, but in responsiblilty. She was the one that finally gave me the ideas and tools I needed to keep up on homework and cease the forgetting to finish any work from classes. Another adult in school who influnced me greatly was Mrs. Meyers. Above all, she taught me the consequences of failing to do school work. After getting a few…unsatisfacotry grades, she worked with me, and day after day, week after week, put up with my awful procrastination and my lack of willingness to take time out to do work. Similarly in elementary, all of my teachers have taught me something, save a few who were less than fond of me, and all of the lessons will stick with me.
In middle school, peers are the biggest thing. Social status means everything to everyone. Fortunately, in my group of friends, finishing math homework and getting a good part in the musical was always more important. My peers have influenced me to not care what people think. That’s why I can walk down the hallways with Kyra Lehman singing “Don’t Stop Beleiving” at the top of our lungs. Unfortunately, recently, a little bit of an attitude has rubbed from one of my friends onto me, and my parents are not happy with my occasional smart-alec comment, or disrespectful rolling of my eyes. Overall, peers have been important to me, but they have not changed me, or my attitude much. I still dress like a kindergartener, and I still make myself look like an idiot in public places, reguardless of how many times my peers attempt to influence me to do otherwise.
My whole life, family has been the most important thing, and going into middle school hasn’t changed that one bit. Sure, I am busier, and on occasion I am much more short tempered, but still, they teach me new things and heighten the expectations to fit what I need. The biggest thing in this time of my life was when I received my purity (or promise) ring. My mom and dad taught me what was appropriate, and in doing it, they have influenced me to be a better person. Also large in my life is their influence on me to do volunteer work. Growing up I always saw them taking time to help others, and because of that influence, I have grown to take every opportunity I can. Gabby has influenced me to try to use my right brain more often. She got me to start to try my hand at creative writing, and without her, I wouldn’t have known that I’m not as awful as initially thought I would be. Sydney, from a young age has influenced me to try to sing and dance, just seeing how much fun she always had. The greatest influence of all has always been my parents. My mom has always taught me to be more creative, but always do what’s right. My dad has always taught me to keep my eyes on my goals. Without my family, I wouldn’t be half of the person that I am today.