Yesterday’s Mistakes Make Tomorrow’s Person

Krystin - Easley, South Carolina
Entered on March 9, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“This I Believe Essay”

Yesterday’s Mistakes Make Tomorrow’s Person

I believe every fault and wrongdoing of adolescence will build who I am tomorrow. When I was 13 years old, I started making bad decisions that others my age weren’t even thinking about. The ideas of sexual behaviors and alcohol consumed my mind. I tried to ignore the temptations, but it was too hard. In December 2003, I was staying with my friend Alexis. She had done the things I thought of doing. So one night I decided, “What the heck, one night of wrongdoings never hurt anyone!” After that night, I was hooked. I was constantly going out and drinking and doing things I shouldn’t have done. It then became somewhat of a lifestyle. After a year, my other friends started doing the same things I was. Before long, we were a group of 14 year old girls, getting drunk every weekend and hanging on any guy we could.

I kept this lifestyle up until I turned 16. I met a guy that I felt I might be able to have something with. We started talking, and before long we were dating. Having a boyfriend was a big jump for me. I couldn’t just pick a new guy for each weekend. So I stopped with the random guys¬—the drinking however persisted. I was faithful to my boyfriend, but still loved to go out and have fun every now and then. Then almost two years later, in college, it all changed.

Last semester, while attending Clemson University, I was sitting outside of Tillman Hall waiting on a ride to my dorm. An older guy skateboarded in circles around me, saying nothing. After 10 minutes or so, he sat down and got straight to the point. He asked if I was a Christian and if I believed in God. I said yes, but wondered why he was asking this. He went on to tell me that if I believed in God and was happy with him, I should be happy with every decision I make. I started thinking about all the things I had been doing since 13, and it really got to me. I was a Christian, I did believe in God, but I wasn’t happy with the decisions I had made.

When I got in my dorm that night, I lay in my bed and cried thinking “Why am I doing this to myself?” The next morning, I felt like a completely different person. All of the things I had been doing definitely weren’t right, but they had led me to talking to the guy in Clemson. Had I not talked to him, I would not have realized that I was unhappy with my lifestyle. I wouldn’t have been unhappy with my lifestyle had I not made those mistakes. Since that night, I have not had a sip of alcohol. Today I look back and see the things I did, and I know that they made me stronger. My adolescent mistakes built the person I will be tomorrow.