Becoming The First You

Becoming The First You

No one has ever become you, and no one ever will again
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About 15 years ago, there was a highly anticipated professional wrestling match between two of the best wrestlers in history, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The storyline of this match was that growing up, Jericho idolized Michaels, but now wanted to surpass him and become the better performer. It was here, during one of Chris Jericho’s promos that he said something that has always stuck with me: “I grew out of wanting to be the next Shawn Michaels, and I concentrated on becoming the first Chris Jericho.” Putting personal feelings about professional wrestling aside, that comment is quite profound. Here is a man, who was trying to be someone else only to realize that his best course of action was to become the best, and first, version of himself.

We often find ourselves wanting to be other people. Whether it be good looks, fame, money, or luck, there are always people who appear to have what we want. It is easy to attempt to emulate these people’s traits and characteristics. It is easy to want to become the next Beyonce, Brad Pitt, or Mark Zuckerberg. They are are rich, famous and successful. Why not try to be just like them? It relieves us of the burden of trying to carve our own path and make our own decisions. We can just do what they do. However, they didn’t become that person by trying to be like someone else. They reached that status because they focused on becoming the first version of themselves.

Becoming the first version of yourself is incredibly difficult. There is no roadmap to becoming yourself because no one has ever done it before. No one has ever become you, and no one ever will again. To become the first version of yourself, you need to determine what type of person you want to become, what you will stand for, and what you desire to accomplish while alive on this earth. It also means, doing what makes you happy, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. It means going against the crowd, going left when everyone you know is going right. It means doing something because it is what you want to do, not because it is what society is telling you to do.

I myself have often struggled with this problem. I have always strived to be me, do what makes me happy and what I believe is right. I listen to music I enjoy, not what is popular. I eat foods I like, not what everyone else likes. I could care less what anyone else thinks about any of the choices that I make. I have never tried to be the next Ryan Gosling, Kevin James, or Mark Cuban. I have always focused on becoming the first Kyle Grappone.

So, I ask you this question. Who are you trying to be like? Do you behave the way you do because it’s what the cool kids are doing? Do you make sure your interests are in line with what social media and the masses tell you it should be? Do you find yourself trying to copy the behaviors and actions of celebrities or acquaintances whose life you wish you had? If you do, you will only end up becoming a dollar store version of them, and no one is going to buy that version.

Be yourself. Find what makes you happy, and do it. It doesn’t matter if it makes anyone else happy. Determine what you are passionate about, seek it out, hunt it down, and capture it. Figure out what kind of impact you want to make on your family, friends, community and the world, and then spend every day trying to make that impact. Become the first version of yourself, and let others try to become a dollar store version of you.

About Me

I’m a youth/education public speaker and blog author. My goal is to use these mediums to inspire high school and college students to think differently about the next steps in their lives and choices they are going to make.

Thoughts on this topic? Have a suggestion of a future post? Interested in learning more about Kyle’s talks? E-mail me at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com and be sure to visit KyleGrappone.com!

The views expressed in this blog and all my content are mine and do not reflect the views and opinions of any companies and/or educational institutions I have had current or past connections with.

Cover Image Credit: Stocknap.io

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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The Glory Of Moving Far, Far Away

There is beauty in new beginnings.

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In this day and age, people everywhere seem to have wanderlust. I like to say that July is when it is at its peak, especially for me. I am now adjusting to life in Coatesville, Pennsylvania with my family after moving from our previous home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This is not my first time moving away, and it will certainly not be the last one either, but it still feels different to me. The main reason for that is because this is my last summer before I graduate from college.

It not only marks the end of my entire childhood, but it symbolizes the end of freedom. While I am still familiarizing myself with my new home, I want to take the time to write down how I feel right now.

Finding New Places

I am originally from Blacksburg, Virginia. I spent most of elementary school there, and I managed to stay for all four years of high-school as well.

So, it is safe to say that I know it pretty well. I loved living there, but I fell into this routine of frequency. I knew where I wanted to go out to eat and what movie theater I liked the most.

However, all of the places in Coatesville are new to me right now. Who knows what kind of memories I will have from all of the restaurants and stores here?

There is beauty in new beginnings, and I am already looking forward to stepping into a Wawa.

Happiness At Home

Fortunately, the moving process went very smoothly from the beginning for all of us. I kept the necessary belongings with me for the car ride and reunited with my other belongings quickly since the movers arrived the day after us.

One of my favorite things about coming to a new house is having a different room. I like sorting all of my stuff and thinking of crafty ways to arrange everything. The yellow walls actually closely resemble my dorm room which helps me think of ideas for the upcoming semester.

Plus, I have two side-by-side windows which give me a gorgeous view to our front yard. The first observation I made was all of the green surrounding us. The trees and grass just paint the entire neighborhood. It must be a sign for me to relax and enjoy the outdoors from time to time.

Make It Count Every Day

Like everything else in life, summer does not last forever. Even though it is not always easy to live in a new place, I am determined to make the most of it.

On one of our first nights at our new house, my sister chose the movie "Titanic" to watch that night. This is my most beloved movie and it made me feel more at home.

I cannot finish this section without giving credit to Jack Dawson. He once said, "I figure life is a gift and I do not intend on wasting it."

Since it has been almost a week since our journey here started, we have become accustomed to our family rituals including walking the dogs around the circle and watching the weekly showings of "America's Got Talent."


I am so glad that I have the chance to live in Pennsylvania and I am looking forward to the future. I am now more inspired to explore the area around me and learn more about myself.

Cover Image Credit:

Danielle Neron

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