This I Believe

Michelle - Auburn, New York
Entered on September 6, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe exposing yourself to different types of people gives you a greater

understanding of yourself.

A person cannot thrive if they do not have outlets to grow, and people in their lives

that allow or inspire them to do so. To find these people, we

must often step outside our familiar boundaries. We must do things alone to realize our

potential as an individual.

I went abroad to London without any close companions. I moved in with four other girls,

two of which I had never met before. Doing this gave me the opportunity to step out of

my social circle, and befriend some of the greatest people I have met in college. Living

in a three bedroom apartment were five very dynamic, and different personalities. My

roommates had very different interests from friends I’ve had in the past. They exposed

these interests and worlds to me, of: architecture and the outdoors. And we explored new

interests together, of: music, and travel.

Living in New York the past two summers has given me similar opportunities. I subleased

rooms in apartments I found on craigslist, with roommates I didn’t meet until I moved

in. These roommates gave me insight into personalities I hadn’t come in close contact

with before. I came to know these people: their values, ideals, and what makes each one


What did I learn about myself from these people? I learned that good communication is an

invaluable skill, as is good grammar. I learned that I often like to be alone, but

surrounded by many strangers. I learned not to be scared, shy, or timid; that I can

thrive in whatever situations or confrontations come my way.

Lastly, I learned that good manners and genuine politeness are underrated traits.

Because understanding and knowing different people nt only teaches you about yourself,

but you get the chance to learn and enjoy others as well. It gives you a greater

sympathy towards your peers. And provides a depth of knowledge to draw from when looking to relate to a person.