I Believe…

Kristin - Peoria, Arizona
Entered on November 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

For many young adults, the teenage years can be a very challenging time. Values will be tested, and many life experiences will be gained. Mistakes are made and consequences are learned, although sometimes it is the hard way. I believe that the most powerful wisdom can be gained when a person learns from their mistakes.

As I stated, sometimes this valuable knowledge can only be learned the hard way. That is the unforeseen, yet lucky, path I ended up taking.

I had always been a straight-A student – an overachiever. I was captain of the volleyball team, “academic athlete of the year,” a member of NJHS, and I earned high school math credits while I was in 7th and 8th grade. You name it, and I strived to achieve it! However, as I started my high school experience, I began to feel a little overwhelmed. Looking back on it now, I realize that I was just a little too hard on myself and the pressure I put on myself to be perfect was knocking me down bit-by-bit. My A’s were turning into B’s, and by my junior year of high school everything went downhill from there. I had become a full-on reckless party animal, drinking frequently, skipping class, disrespecting my parents, and having a careless attitude. I knew that the lifestyle I was living was nothing to be proud of, however, it felt like I had dug myself a pretty deep hole and was struggling to find a way out.

That is when an unforeseen opportunity appeared in my bedroom at 3:00 a.m. in the form of “transporters” that would be taking me to a boarding school in Tucson. The entire, completely unexpected, dramatic change in my life was very traumatic at the time, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise. By being sent away, I had a lot of time to self-reflect. I realized that it was finally time to make some crucial decisions regarding improving my life and getting back on track.

By the end of the semester I had earned awesome grades, stayed out of trouble, and became more responsible. Looking back on the whole experience, I truly believe that if I wasn’t forced to face my unruly lifestyle by being sent away, I may have never changed and who knows what would have happened. By learning from my mistakes, I have gained endless wisdom and a new outlook on life.

Everyday I am thankful to be living my life the way I am today, even if it meant taking a bumpy road to get there. Even though learning the hard way is never the preferred method, I am grateful for the outcome my experiences have brought me.