Ashley - Merrimack, New Hampshire
Entered on April 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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As I stepped out of my friend’s car, I found myself standing in the midst of three police cars, their lights flashing. I opened the car door and stepped outside, watching a group of boys getting arrested. More surprising was the fact that these were boys I knew and had gone to school with, making their arrest more significant than if the people were unknown to me. I had not even closed the car door when a police officer questioned me with stern eyes before he ushered me to my car. My past classmates looked at me with eyes that were empty, bitter, and helpless. Looking into their eyes was heart-breaking, and they were not the same boys I remembered going to school with.

I will make many decisions in my lifetime, and it is inevitable that I will not make all of the right choices. Every decision can either make or break me. Though dealing with the effects of making bad decisions lasts longer than the decisions themselves, the effects can help me just as much as they hurt.

I believe that I should use my bad decisions to make myself a better person, and use my decisions to support me, not to haunt me.

I do not have the ability to change the past or to change bad decisions. There is no reason to dwell on the decisions made on the previous day or the previous year. Instead, I will use both good and bad decisions as a crutch, leaning on them and learning from them for the future.

People should not be judged by what they have done in the past, but rather who they have become from what has happened in the past. I know that all of my decisions have changed me in one way or another.

In the case of the boys, they all have the potential to become better people from their mistakes; instead, they have decided to become involved in crime. Though they have been arrested multiple times before, there is still hope; this may be the arrest that they choose to learn from. A tower of bad decisions can only grow so tall before it collapses.

Personally, I know that I can never go back to committing the same mistakes that I have before because of the consequences, but for other people it can take time. I am holding my relationships with friends closer, and my decisions have paved the way for future ones.

Inevitably, people will make more wrong decisions in their lifetimes, but it is up to them to decide whether those decisions will support them. Good or bad, my decisions will support me.