“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” –Voltaire
Originally posted on The Odyssey on May 2, 2016
Having an older brother has always given me the opportunity to have an interesting perspective on age and the different ages of the people that surround you. While I dealt with my melodramatic troubles in middle school, like most seventh-grade girls my age, I remember hearing my brother talk about all the great people, mostly his peers, in the school who had really made an impact on his time there. I remember envying him for his experiences and wishing that I were in high school too.
When I finally became a freshman, I tried to make friends with as many different people as I could. I found myself talking to new freshmen, sophomores I had known from middle school and even my brother’s friends who had not graduated yet. While I realized that I was at the bottom of the food chain and had little to no meaning in the upperclassmen’s lives, I was still very aware of the seniors who presided over me in the different clubs I had joined. I saw them as leaders, role models and generally people whom I would look up to in the future.
Those seniors would become my mentors, my peers and would play a role in some of my favorite memories from high school. Being very active in both theater and the literary magazine, these students became the ideal that I would strive for as I grew older. I remember thinking to myself, Wow, I can’t wait to be just like them. As cheesy as it sounds, I wanted to make a difference in other students’ lives as they had in mine. They inspired me to take that extra step and become a member of something that transcended the idea of leadership.
My senior year of high school, I was able to stand in the shoes of those leaders and hope that I had influenced underclassmen as the seniors had once influenced me. Becoming a leader and mentor was never about leaving behind a title, name or legacy, but instead a family. As my freshman year of college comes to an end, I find myself recognizing the amazing upperclassmen I have been granted the opportunity to work with this year alone. In what seems like a few short months, I have learned so many new things and have gained so many amazing friends just from the events that I have participated in with these students. Between a literary magazine and theater, once again, I have had the pleasure to meet some influential people. I can only hope to be as accomplished and significant as the seniors I have met this year. I cannot wait to see each and every one of you change the world.
To all the seniors, past and present, that have inspired me: Thank you.