Caleb Thomas - Grade 9, Alter High School
The Year My Life Changed
Before my 8th grade school year, I wasnâ€™t taking my grades as seriously as I needed to. Sadly, my grades had slipped near the end of the year, making it difficult to pass the 7th grade. During the following summer, my family went on a trip to Rome to see the Vatican. I normally hadn't gone on these trips, as I was young and hadn't been that far away from home before, and was fearful of flying. However, something told me that I needed to go on this trip.
I decided that I would accept the invitation and go to Rome. Ever since I made that choice, my life has changed completely. During that trip I got to visit St. Peters Tomb, which was a humbling experience. At first I wasn't allowed entrance because of my apparel, but after a complete stranger argued with the Tour Guide, they finally allowed me in. During that trip I was also able to attend a mass inside the Vatican, which was an amazing experience. I felt as if God was with me throughout the entire trip, making sure that I made the right decisions to be able to experience the full trip and grasp all of the information at once. I think it was a wake-up call from God, telling me that I needed to pay attention and to live my life to the fullest so I can enjoy my future.
I look back and see how negatively I was looking at school, and how I treated it like it was nothing. I didnâ€™t want to apply myself because I thought it didnâ€™t matter. Once I got back to school for 8th grade, my entire attitude changed. I started to care about what I was doing. I started asking more questions, making sure I understood what was going on. I can happily say that this change in my attitude has granted me three trips to my school's Honor Roll.
I think from this entire experience God wanted me to learn to open my eyes to the wonderful things of life, giving them a chance to positively impact me. The best way I can do that at this point in my life is to study hard, apply myself, and earn good grades.
After taking the time and looking back on the decisions I made back then, I am very pleased with choosing to go on the trip. It has completely opened me up to see that even though I might not like what I am doing in school, studying hard is for the best and I am going to benefit from it. I learned that if I apply myself to whatever the situation is, I can do it, no matter what. One of my most favorable quotes that helped me get through this time in my life is by Saint Francis of Assisi and it states, â€œStart by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.â€