..Tiffany Marquez..

Turning Negative Outcomes Into Positive Memories
An essay by an 8th grader

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.

This quote is relevant to experiences such as coming to a new school, not knowing anyone, and leaving other friends behind. Looking back at my four years of attending Connelly Middle School of the Hold Child, I have gained courage, confidence, cheerfulness, and leadership. I also learned to turn my negative outcomes into positive memories.

In the beginning, as a 5th grader, being a young newcomer to a new school required so much courage. Starting a new school is like starting a new chapter in a novel. There are many surprises along the way. Friends were also left behind. Consequently, you would have to make new friends all over again. It took courage to come to a new school, not knowing anyone but being polite anyway. Churlish ways were not going to get you friends, so you needed courage to greet someone and build conversations. It took courage to adjust to a diverse school community, knowing you had to take many chances.

Followed by courage, as a 6th grader, I have gained confidence. It took confidence to start a new year and staying optimistic that it would be successful. There were times where things got rocky but collaborating brought us whole again. It took confidence to represent you as an individual and not being intimidated by anyone or anything. Lastly, I needed confidence knowing that I was going to be a 7th grade the next year. I was positive in myself and knew that the year was going to be more difficult with change of curriculum. Nevertheless, I remained true to myself.

After two years in this school, being a 7th grader required cheerfulness. As the second oldest of the school, the younger grades looked up to you so you had to have an encouraging attitude towards everything. If someone did something very well, or tried their best, you should congratulate them. Also, if there was a volunteer needed for any reason, being a 7th grader you should be responsible enough to volunteer. Instead of getting upset about it, you should have some energy because the younger grades see that.

I have gained cheerfulness because I learned to get along with all my peers and provide them with a lot of support. I learned that I should not put my classmates down in any way. Instead, I should support them and be glad that they didn't give up.

Being in my fourth and last year in Connelly Middle School of the Holy Child, I have gained leadership. As the oldest girls in the school, we have to be role models for the younger girls. I have learned that I have to do the right thing. They look up to you as an individual. It is better for them to look up to you for a good cause rather than a bad one. In addition, if you want to set an example, you have to be the example. In other words, if you do the right thing the younger grades will start doing it as well. It is like a domino effect.

The purpose of the 8th graders being leaders will affect the younger grades to make good decisions. Being the oldest of the group requires leadership because we host many fundraising activities and persuade the whole school to engage in our activities.

We care about other people all over the world who need help, and it will make us better people. As President Obama said, "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." The change begins with the 8th graders setting that example for the rest of the grades to do the right thing.

Lastly, while attending this school, I have had many downfalls and Connelly Middle School of the Holy Child helped me evolve from them. For example, in 6th grade I learned so much about respect. I learned that I should respect my teachers, adults and my peers. In 7th grade, I learned that I should not be a follower, but a leader. Peer pressure was easy to get into at the time, but I should have never done things that I didn't want to do and knew were not right. This year, I learned so much about myself and how my actions affect others. If someone was hurt I should not mock them. I should be sympathetic instead. I learned that I do not know how much something as little as words could hurt someone.

In brief, Connelly Middle School of the Holy Child will be an experience I will forever cherish. It has helped me to make good decisions and grow into a young adult. I have turned my negative outcomes into positive memories. Having courage, confidence, cheerfulness, and leadership helped to make me who I am today.