This I Believe

Tom - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that how a person reacts to change shapes the person they become. For me, certain changes that occurred in my life have made me the person I am today.

The first big change in my life happened when I was eight. My family moved from Little Rock, Arkansas to Salt Lake City, Utah. I was young, but I had friends that I would actually remember and miss. The move was tough, because I was leaving my friends and all the places I knew behind. But I eventually liked Utah, because the snow made me happy and there was so much to do outdoors, such as, skiing, hiking, and biking. And, I made new friends, while still keeping in contact with old ones. Although my contact with some of the old vanished over the years, I still try and talk with the friends I was closer to.

In fifth grade I joined a ski team. I met new people who pushed me to challenge myself. This made me a better skier, and it also made me a more respectful person by learning how to work in a team. I wasn’t just in it by or for myself. It was much bigger than that. I was part of a team; a team who supported and cheered on each other. If I fell during a race, my teammates would tell me that I would get down the hill next time. Telling me this showed that they cared how I felt. This encouraged me to root for my teammates in a similar way. I knew how they felt and knew encouraging words would help them.

After eighth grade I switched schools, from a small, private school to a larger, Catholic school. This change caused me to widen my circle of friends. My new friends now have much more diverse backgrounds. I’ve learned to respect people for who they are and not for what they have or how much they own.

I do not know what future changes will come my way. But I do know that whatever changes come will continue to shape who I am and who I will end up being when I am older.