Angela - El Paso, Texas
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

That year I realized just how mean girls could be. It was my senior year, and I was so glad it would be my last year on the cheerleading squad. Cheerleading used to always be fun, but that year it was hell. For some reason tensions arose, and our close knit squad got split into two cliques. It felt like good verses evil, and the two newly formed groups would not speak to each other. I hated taking sides; it caused me to lose a good friend.

It was the day of our senior assembly. As the band played our fight song for the last time, I watched my old friend in front of me as she did the fight song dance moves we had learned in cheerleading. I smiled as I watched her. It brought back the happy memories of cheerleading. She turned around and saw me watching her. She smiled back. At that moment I realized the true power of a smile. Without a single word being spoken, we were finally at peace. That smile spoke “forgiveness” better than words ever could. That smile not only rekindled our friendship, it made my day as well.

I have come to find how many things one smile can do. A smile can connect two strangers. It is the one thing that everyone across the world can understand, no matter what language they speak. To me, smiling is a language of its own. A smile has the capability of saying things like “I love you”, “have a nice day”, “I forgive you”, or simply “you’re noticed”. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple smile to brighten someone’s day.

Smiles make everyone’s lives better. A smile shows someone you notice them. To me, smiling is a must. I feel any time you make eye contact with someone, you should smile at them. Smiles are the easiest way to show emotion. Everyone has a different smile, and although nobody looks quite the same when they smile, they are sending the same message: “I am happy”. A smile is like a ray of hope, and when received, a smile has the power to build up ones confidence.

I was standing in line at cheerleading try outs waiting for my turn. I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t know any of the other girls trying out so I stood there quiet and scared. I knew I would be trying out alone, and it scared me knowing that all three judges would have their eyes glued to me. My nerves grew larger and larger as my turn got closer and closer. I psyched myself out as I did the dance and cheer over and over in my head. My turn came. “Let’s go huskies! Come on big blue! C-H-S is number one!” I shouted as I spirited in for my turn. I stood in the center of the gym facing the judges table and I felt like I was going to faint. As I looked up I anticipated seeing the judges with serious, stern faces. I looked at each face one by one. The lady on the left was just like I imagined, serious. Next I saw the man in the center. “Yup I knew it, serious too” I thought to myself. Then I looked at the last judge on the right. She smiled at me. At that moment, my nerves went away. “It’s going to be ok” I thought to myself. Her smile gave me back the confidence my nerves had taken away. The try out went great, and I made the squad. That day I learned something. When you see someone without a smile, give them yours. That judge gave me her smile, and without hers, I don’t think I would have made the cheerleading squad.

I believe in smiles. Smiles give people having a bad day a sense of hope. Smiles give scared people a sense of security. Smiles even give new people a sense of belonging. I believe that a smile is a symbol of God’s love. I believe that a smile has the ability to make a bad day a good day, and a good day a great day. I believe that the power of a smile should never be underestimated, because I believe that one smile can change the world.