This I Believe

Caitlin - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on September 14, 2006

I believe that people should always stay true to themselves. They shouldn’t change who they are just because they want to fit in. I realize that people always say to be yourself but it is a good piece of advice and is something that I truly believe in.

Throughout high school there have been many time where I questioned if I liked the person that I had become. I wanted to change everything and become someone else but I realized that I needed to say true to myself and the person that I am. That person is someone who cares about others and how they feel. Making sure to never judge a person just based on their outside appearance. Someone who is always smiling and laughs at every joke whether it is funny or not you will hear my highly recognizable laugh. Someone who is always there to listen when you need advice or a shoulder to lean on throughout a difficult time. That is the person that I am happy being.

Friends, boyfriends, classmates, teachers and gossip are all pressures that are put on teenagers that can influence the person that you become. Throughout my high school career there have been many times where I had to ask myself, Is this the person that I really want to be? And if I ever answered that question with a negative answer, which there had been a time when I did, then I knew that I had to think back to my morals and become the person that I had always been.

I had been on and off with this one guy for my first two years of high school and during this time I began to realize how much I had changed. I was no longer this fun and happy girl that people liked to be around. I turned into someone who was moody, upset and spending too much time with my boyfriend and neglecting my best friends. One day after talking to one of my best friends I realized how I no longer was happy with the person that I had become. It was this group of girls that stuck behind me through good times and bad times to always remind me of the person that they loved. After I had come to realization of how I no longer was happy I knew that I needed to change my attitude. I started hanging out with my friends more and spending more time with my family and being the girl I once was.

As I closed the high school chapter of my life and opened to my new chapter of college I wonder; who I will become? Will college change the lovable, fun and smiley Caitlin that I am or will I just grow into a more mature me? Everyone says that college is a new beginning and that you have a clean slat and that you have the ability to become the person that you want to be. But I feel that I have already become the person that I want to be. So as I spend my next four years at James Madison University I hope to stay true to the person that I am but I would like to become more independent and learn a few things along the way.