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Ella reflects on the lessons she learned over the past school year

While I was riding home during a car ride on the last day of school, I gave myself a question: “Do I think this school year was worth it for all the time that passed?” I thought that I should be able to have an answer, so I recalled every single moment that I experienced during the school year. I gave myself a reasonable answer for my question.


Right after the word left my lips, I tried to find reasons to back up my answer. I reflected on everything that happened and found out I had changed a lot over the year.

The changes in my height, my friendships, and appearance are all small. The biggest changes that I have made are to my maturity level, self-discipline, and my confidence in standing up to bullies.

At the beginning of the year I was childish, and since I wanted to be liked, I tried acting “cute,” but this only showed me to be a silly and childish person. I have learned that it only makes people not take me seriously and makes me lose other people’s respect. If I want to show the mature side of me, I have to be just myself— normal myself. I don’t have to act silly, because silliness is different from humor.

Another problem I had was self-discipline. I was a laidback kid. Even when there lay an easiest-worksheet-in-the-world in front of me, I still took twenty minutes to finish because I was not focused and always reading a book, playing around with my hair, making some crafts, or doing anything else that distracted me from my work. During the year, I learned that if I’m always going to regret this someday when I’m bigger and it will be too late to fix my mistakes at that time, why don’t I just start to have a willing-to-work attitude and become motivated now? I took that question to push myself into becoming focused, giving myself more work, and doing whatever’s best for my future.

At last, I was scared to defend myself in front of bullies for a long time. My mom and I talked it over many times, but whenever the bullying started again, I always couldn’t speak up and let the bullies walk over me. I also couldn’t figure out why some girls at my school excluded me. I was depressed for a while. Finally I learned to say “stop it!” when the bullying happened. As for the excluding issue, I found out that my interests were different from these girls’. They liked bloody and violent things, and I enjoyed literature and nature, so I couldn’t join their conversation. I learned that it wasn’t worth my time to talk about zombies, monsters, and vampires. I decided that I would continue on my path and just ignore them.

As you can see, I did change a lot this year, and I hope you can learn from my experience too.