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Freshmeat Vs. Pre-senior

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Some might say two years is not a lot of time, while others say it is all the time in the world. Never have I felt so conflicted on which I believe it is until I began to think about how much has changed between my freshman and junior years. From freshmeat to pre-senior, I have certainly developed physically, mentally, and emotionally.

My freshman year, I was quite the introvert. I did not really form my own opinion about any subject; I simply followed the crowd. I refused to be myself for fear of what others would think. Throughout middle school, I was put down every time I tried to show my true colors. I had many talents I learned to just suppress. Among those talents was training dogs; it was something I was certain would make me a freak if anyone found out. I attended dog shows on the weekends, but only my very best friend knew.

For as long as I’ve been in school, my peers have told me that I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. Of course, with so many people telling me this, I began to believe them. I spent my whole freshman year believing I was nothing more than an idiot. I took honors classes, but I thought it was just because I happened to test well. My first semester freshman year, I never would have pictured myself taking and passing multiple AP classes.

The people, or should I say lack of people, who chose to be around me prior to my freshman year shaped how I saw myself. The lack of interest I received from guys made me truly believe I was the most hideous being to ever walk this earth. After my parents’ divorce in seventh grade, eating became my emotional get-away; I soon became obese, or so I thought. I was so self-conscious about my weight my freshman year that I would only ever wear t-shirts and hoodies, and I would skip meals in hopes of losing weight. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for me to realize the negative toll it was taking on my body before I stopped. All in all, I lacked confidence in my decisions, opinions, and overall, myself.

My junior year, I stand one of the most self-confident people I know. I have strong opinions about practically everything, and I’m not afraid to back them up. I am myself in all situations despite what others might think. I have realized what opportunities are awaiting someone who works so well with animals, and I proudly flaunt my dogs’ accomplishments. It has also been brought to light just how intelligent I am. After discussing my exam scores with a teacher whom has since become my biggest role model, I was placed in her AP class as a sophomore and not only did I pass the class, but I passed the AP exam with a four. As fate would have it, I met a really nice guy through this AP class and soon enough it became clear that looks aren’t everything. As my confidence began to develop through knowing I was actually pretty smart, my outward appearance began to appeal to myself as well. I no longer doubt my opinions or myself, and I certainly don’t give off the impression I have ever been short on self-assurance.

These past two years have flown by, and when I think about it, I’m still Tyler. Nothing is different, yet everything is. The things I have encountered through the first couple years of high school have greatly influenced who I am today. I went from someone who merely existed to one who thrives and showers the world with optimism and confidence. This brings up the question: If I have changed as much as I have in two short years, who will I be in two more years?



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