Dear Little Me…


Christin Campbell, ENN Staff

Looking back, many of us wish that we could give advice to our younger self in hopes of minimizing our past mistakes. Although, we cannot actually go back  and give advice to our younger selves, it is refreshing to know that we have grown from our youth. 

When we are younger it is common to struggle with stepping  into the shoes of our peers, because we are unaware of the many perspectives and experiences that make each person unique. Lake Ridge principal, Ashley Alloway, explains how she has grown from her encounters over the years with many different people.

 “I think my perspective has changed because of the people, the students, the families that I’ve worked with. I think we’re all a little arrogant, and a little less humble when we’re young. My perspective is now that people probably need to be a little more humble, a little more compassionate, and not jump to conclusions so quickly. I think life humbles you. Listen to hear. You need to listen to hear people, instead of listening to respond. I would also tell myself that you don’t have to fix everything. Just be there for people and let them know you care,” said Alloway.

As kids, many of us are unaware of the harsh realities of the world until we are a lot older and exposed to new experiences. Our perspective of the world is far more pleasant and pure. AP Human Geography teacher, Ashley Hicks, recalls getting a wake-up call when she got older.

“When you’re a kid you think just if you’re good then nothing bad will happen. I wish I could tell myself to slow down and enjoy being a kid more. This is advice that I give to freshmen too. I didn’t realize how naive I was about things until I actually became older. When you’re surrounded by the same folks your entire life, you think that’s how everyone is. Bad things happen to good people,” said Hicks.

In our youth, many of us live our own world, often being ignorant about the complexity of what is around us. Senior, Jersey Madu, recalls a lot about f her happiness in her youth came from how unaware she was.

“I am a strong believer in the idea that ‘ignorance is bliss.’ I was definitely a lot happier when I was clueless about world events. There’s hardly a day where there isn’t a news story that isn’t upsetting/infuriating. Everyone says it, but I would definitely tell myself to have more fun and don’t take things too seriously. Time does not stop and you can never go back,” said Madu.

As children our minds are filled with endless possibilities of our potential. Coach and English teacher, Robert Turley, recalls chasing his dreams and the reality that came with it.

“When I was younger, I felt that the world was easy to navigate as long as I worked hard. My dream as a child was to play in the NFL. I felt that success came easily to those who worked hard and who treated people well. I still believe this to be true but now I know that it takes much more than this to be successful. I also know that nothing worthwhile comes easy,” said Turley.

As kids, we often want to grow up fast and strive to be just like the adults we see around us. We fail to realize being a kid only comes once. Senior, Dekoven Yarbrough, recounts the beauty in being a child.

“As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that life is more complicated and there are a lot of grey areas in life. The advice I’d give myself is to enjoy everything and be a kid. Don’t wish to grow up because once you do you can’t be a kid again,” said Yarbrough.

Essentially, the lessons that we learn as we grow older are ones that we wish we could teach our younger self. This brings nostalgia to everyone that is growing older, and reminds them to live their lives to the fullest. With this, maintaining remembrance of childhood memories along the way.