The Most Unforgettable Person

The Most Unforgettable Person

Everyone has that person or people they will never forget in their life. This is one of mine.
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I am currently studying to retake my CBEST and I have been writing essays to prepare. They asked me to write about someone unforgetable in my life and I thought I would share that here.

A few years ago I went to Africa with a gentleman that would soon introduce me to the woman that would become my mentor. We were hanging out at church they were being followed around by three children that I fell head over heels for and offered to babysit if they ever needed. They quickly took me up on that offer and that's when I began my friendship with his wife. Her name is Julie. Julie kind, compassionate, and giving. She has supported me in many endeavors, helps me control my anxiety, and teaches me new things on a daily basis. Without her I honestly don't know where my life would be. She has easily become the most unforgettable person in my life outside my family.

My life is constantly changing, whether that be through internships in Uganda, career changes, and the most recent Peace Corps Service for two years in Uganda. Julie as been there through it all. Our relationship is currently her in America and me living in Uganda and yet she is still here supporting me in all the things that I am doing. I remember when I first decided to join the Peace Corps Julie was thrilled for me and encouraged me to pursue that dream and see what would come out of it. I knew that moving away for two years was a crazy idea and most of my friends and family where not thrilled or supportive. Julie however, knew my heart and my desire to move to Africa and supported my decision to move and helped me be excited instead of scared. I may not have been able to move had she not supported me the way she had. Julie not only supports me but she also helps me maintain my anxiety.

A pretty well known fact about myself is the fact that I have anxiety. When I was living in the states I was able to control it pretty well because I knew my triggers and I the environment that I lived in. However, moving to Uganda has caused my anxiety to slightly worsen and I have much less control. Julie is here for me through all of my anxiety. She had given me phrases to remind myself that the thoughts my anxiety bring are just lies. She has also prayed for me and reminded me that anxiety is just temporary and my life is so much more than what my anxiety brings. I still don't have full control of my anxiety yet because of the constant environment and cultural changes living in a foreign country. Although, with Julie in my corner I am able to one day at a time have more control over my anxiety and that is a life savior. With teaching me how to control my anxiety she also just teaches me things in general.

Julie is a stay at home mom who also home schools her kids. She is constantly teaching me how to be an incredible parent, different tips and tricks on teaching, and how to communicate better with others especially in my relationships. I don't think she realizes how much she teaches me because most of the time it's just through our daily conversations that I learn new things from her. Especially about being a mom. She i constantly talking about her kids and different things about how she raises them and that has really sunk in with me and showed me different ways of how I some day want to parent. I think the biggest thing she has taught me is how to better communicate with my boyfriend. Julie and her husband has been married for ten years, and they have gone through a lot. Since they have been through so much Julie shares such things with me and gives me tips on how to communicate with my boyfriend since she too has been through those things. Julie doesn't even realize how much she teaches me in each of our conversations.

Julie is hands down one of the most unforgettable person in my life. Through her support, her help with my anxiety, and all that she teaches me she has brought me through some incredibly dark moments. She has helped me to see how brave I am, how strong I am, and how through hard work and perseverance I can get through anything. If I hadn't went to Uganda with her husband and been introduced to Julie I don't know where I would be right now in life.

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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What It's Like Being An Introverted Leader

Different people lead differently.

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When you think of the qualities a leader or someone in a leadership position should have, being out-going is often mentioned. However, I don't think that always has to be the case. I've been a part of many different leadership opportunities and programs, yet I'm still the same socially awkward hermit I've always been. Being out-going and extroverted doesn't qualify someone to be a good leader, just like being shy and introverted makes you a bad one, it's about your skills.

When I went to a leadership program at a summer camp, I often heard that I didn't talk very much or I was too quiet and shy for a summer camp entertaining kids, I should have been more talkative. I'd also get a few counselors coming up to be that when they were in the same program I was in, they were also the same things I was and not to worry about it. Even now, I'm still quite and relatively shy person, but that doesn't discredit my ability to be a good leader, or anyone else's.

In my high school ASB (Associated Student Body) class, we took a fun personality test to find out what kind of leaders we were; someone who likes to be in charge, be in the spotlight, more organized, or stay in the background. I got someone who likes to be in the spotlight, which was a surprise to me too, but thinking about it, it makes sense. I'm not overly out-going, but given the right motivation, I don't mind going up to people and striking up a conversation.

I can also say that at some point I have possessed all four of these personalities or traits over the course of my different leadership roles. The reason I'm even bringing this personality test up is that it definitely shows that there are different types of leaders out there, and not all of them have to be extraverted. I tried to find the one I took but couldn't find the exact one, but if you're interested there are a ton of different ones out there.

Over time, I've learned and worked on many valuable skills, like conflict resolution, time management, actually listening to what others have to say, and more. I keep myself up to date with my surroundings and what's going on in the world, and I still meet and hang out with people, when I have time. People grow and learn on their own pace, we should let them without overly critiquing them.

In the end, whether someone is out-going or not shouldn't determine the ability they have to be a good leader, sure in some cases it's better to more extraverted, but it's not a make or break trait. So long as they have their mind in the right place and know how to handle different tasks and situations, it doesn't matter.

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