The Power of Words

When I look back on the last couple years, I can pinpoint things and people who have completely changed the course of my life. You can never know how what you say affects those around you, and I’m sure these people had no idea that the advice they offered me did change my life. But they did. And it’s time I gave them a little credit.
The first person that changed the course of my life was one of the math teachers in my middle school. My mom was friends with her and she taught the lower level of the two seventh grade maths. My sixth grade math teacher had our entire class do a survey, and based on the survey, she suggested that I go into the lower level of math. My mom wasn’t so sure and had me talk to her friend. This math teacher told me that, despite what my sixth grade math teacher said, I should give the harder class a try. That was the first advanced class I had ever taken. It gave me the confidence to take every advanced class I could in high school, and gave me the motivation to work harder. If I had not taken that math class, I most likely wouldn’t have been motivated or a good student. Who knows where I would’ve gone to college! So, to the woman who believed in me, even when I didn’t, I thank you.
The second person who I can say changed me happens to be one of my best friend’s mom. One day in the spring of my senior year, she was driving my friend, Margo, and I to a lacrosse game. At the time, I was incredibly worried about my college decision and it felt like there were only two options, Northwestern with my Naval ROTC scholarship and a major I hated, or Northwestern with a major I wanted but student debts that would likely not go away until my late thirties. They let me vent a little bit, and then Margo’s mom said something to me which was exactly what I needed to hear: “There are other options.” Those four words made me realize that there was another choice. Later that night, after a lot of stressing and thinking and crying, I finally made the decision to go to Grove City College, arguably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. There’s no way that Mrs. MacDonald could’ve know that what she said would have had such an impact on my life. But it did. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Mrs. MacDonald.
These are two specific instances and I’m sure there will be people that I haven’t even met yet that will change my life as well. I hope this post served two purposes: the first being to thank the people who have changed me so fundamentally, and the second to help us all reflect on the amount of power that your words have, and their ability to change someone’s life. I hope you won’t take that responsibility lightly.


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