Crucial decisions create memorable experiences
Every day, decisions are made both important or as simple as what to eat or wear. These different encounters and experiences can affect your life and help shape you as a person.
“Children are active learners,” Luera said. “They learn through doing things and observing others. People, places, and experiences can shape what they know, what they like and what they’re interested in. Significant or memorable childhood life events or experiences can influence a child’s development positively or negatively.”
Every student has a story or multiple stories that help define their personality or character. From friendships to iconic events, students and teachers recall events that impacted their lives.
Stephen Walters Comes to FCS
Stephen Walter’s, ‘18, most life-changing event that has shaped him to be who he is today was when he began coming to Fresno Christian in 5th grade for the 2010-2011 school year. Prior to this he had been a part of the Sierra School system, which had been experiencing budget cuts, including closing older locations and shutting down programs.
“Up till then, I was a part of the Sierra school system up in the Tolhouse/Prather area,” Walters said. “Due to budget cuts they were scrapping programs and closing older locations, which was disconcerting because I was only in 4th grade at this point so junior high and high school was looking bleak.”
FC was recommended to him by a family friend, which led to his family checking it out and enrolling him. FC has brought Walters closer to God, and grown friendships that will last a lifetime. His relationship with one of his closest friends, Josh Oakley, ‘18, started out rocky, but eventually, through the years of attending FC together, they have become able to bond and grow together emotionally.
Walters believes that most of the people he has encountered at FC have changed his life for the better and have played a part in his development.
“FCS has been so key in shaping my life because it has brought me closer to God and cultivated some friendships that have stood the test of time,” Walters said. “For instance, one of the classic dualities that FCS will ever have will be me and Josh Oakley, our friendship started out rough with us mostly hating each other. Through some emotional growth moments in 8th grade and 9th grade, we have become so understanding of each other that while we may disagree, we will always be friends. Not only did meeting Josh change my life for the better, but most of the people I have met at FCS have been somewhat influential in my development.”
Walters thinks that life-altering moments are essential to learn and grow in humility from those experiences.
“I think you should have some life-altering moments in your life because in the fallout of the event you learn and are further shaped to become who you need to be, not who you think you should become,” Walters said. “The best thing for anyone to learn is humility because without it we as people will get caught up in our own egotistical development rather than develop how God wants us to.”
Mrs. Counts and Her Mother and Sister
Math teacher, Angie Counts, has two childhood stories or memories that she believes helped her become who she is as an adult, mother and teacher. Her older sister has Autism. In the 60s and 70s, Autism was not commonly heard of yet, she remembers seeing anything and everything happen at any time.
“I was born into a family that had a two year old Autistic child,” Counts said. “My beautiful sister Carla. Of course, at that time in the late 60’s and 70’s no one had ever heard of Autism. My parents were constantly trying new things to ‘cure’ their daughter. This totally shaped me. First of all, I saw everything and anything happen at any given time. My sister could be known to pull down whole racks of merchandise at the store, or sit in the middle of the aisle and refuse to get up. She even went on a rampage against me violently when my parents weren’t home one day. By God’s grace, we are both here today, my parents are gone and I’m her guardian.”
Today her sister is at a group home in the Fresno/Clovis area and Counts goes to visit her every weekend. Counts believes that these experiences have taught her to be flexible in most situations.
“She gets great care at a group home here in Clovis/Fresno and I see her every weekend,” Counts said. “In fact, I think it has benefitted my kids because Aunt Carla has helped them be comfortable around special needs people. I’m a pretty flexible person in any situation because of these experiences, and I can defuse a lot of situations that include the disabled.”
Another story Counts told was when her mom was diagnosed with cancer when she was in fifth grade. Her mom was only around for ten more years after that diagnosis. This forced Counts to grow up quickly and become much more independent.
“The second event was when my mom was diagnosed with cancer with I was in 5th grade,” Counts said. “God gave us about ten years more with her, but she was sick a lot. I grew up fast, which made me pretty independent. Remember, my sister was special needs. I became the oldest fast, and I did a lot.”
The hardest part about this was not having a mother around as she was in college and planning her wedding or becoming a mother. But this event encouraged her to reach out and befriend some older women.
“My dad did not handle my mom’s sickness very well,” Counts said. “Unfortunately, I did not have my mom as a college girl or as I was planning my wedding and having children. I missed her advice and presence, and advice as a mom and grandma. But it did compel me to reach out and make friends with older ladies.”
Shauna Howard Discovers a Passion
A moment that impacted Shauna Howard’s, ‘20, life was when she auditioned for and got a role in her first play at the age of eight years old. She had decided to join her friend, Nicole Wagoner in auditioning for a musical production of 101 Dalmatians, where everyone was guaranteed role. Prior to this, her only experiences with performing was a tap dance recital when she was four and performing Peach Blossom poems.
The audition process consisted of reading lines, dancing, and singing. Howard was awarded the role of Cruella DeVille. After a few weeks of rehearsals, they put on an event where the cast performed the opening song for the parents before the show was actually set to open. She remembers holding back a smile and having a ton of fun.
“I was shocked to learn that I had received the part of Cruella DeVille,” Howard said. “I was ecstatic. After a few rehearsals, we had an event where we performed the opening song in front of our parents before the show in a couple months. I remember trying to hold back the smile that was bursting out on my face, I thought I couldn’t smile because I was the villain, I was having so much fun.”
After that simple show for the parents, Howard knew that being on stage was something she loved. Her youth has continued to be filled with plays and rehearsals. Performing has helped her become creative and confident.
“After that experience, I knew performing was something I loved to do,” Howard says. “My childhood was then filled with rehearsals, jazz shoes, and I learned the joys of “tech week”. Yes, I still perform today. The most recent production I was in was Alice in Wonderland Jr. and I played the role of the White Rabbit. Performing has helped shape me into a more creative and confident person.”
Howard thinks that new experiences and trying new thing is very important.
“I think these types of experiences are very important,” Howard said. “If you aren’t constantly trying new activities and seeking out your own adventures, you’ll end up missing out on a lot.”
Different events can impact your life greatly, they can open up a new door of opportunity such as in acting or making new friendships. It can help you learn to be independent or more readily prepared. Events that happen during your childhood do shape you into who you will become as a teenager or even an adult.
Do you have an event that has shaped your life? Let us know what it is in the comments below!
For more articles, read Fresno City College Journalism Day provides insight into media and EDITORIAL: Take advantage of traveling opportunities.
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