Eighth Grade English

Writing. It’s a simple technique that as students we are forced to perfect at every point in our lives. It really never ends as to how much you can truly grow because it feels like a never ending cycle. The final assignment for eighth grade was to write a letter to our older self. For me I understood and saw how I progressed across the span of four years along my high school experience.

We were expected to come up with everything we planned out, so we could write it and in that time see how the roads pan out. Once those four years had passed she would mail us the letter, as if it was from us. We were asked to express details about what we expect our lives to look like, including details about the present such as friends, social status, and basically anything a middle schooler could write in detail. For myself, I wrote about my unnecessary drama, dream school and profession, and my best friends. I knew at that time I wanted to pursue my academics at Rutgers University to study biology and continue onto medical school. All we talked about was our classes for high school. We were hoping all our friends would be in them with us, especially my circle of friends, called the core four. To me these seemed most important, and I would want my older self to know. While reflecting on now, it seems stupid, but I wanted to know all these important factors. We were to receive the letter prior to graduating from high school to reflect on our life decisions, and see how we have matured over the past four years that had come and gone.

It was around mid June, and graduation was right around the corner. One day I stumbled upon the letter in the mail. It wasn’t what I was searching for, but I was still excited to see that it came. Opening this up, I scanned the paper reading what I had reflected before entering high school. I still remember how excited I was to send my older self a letter about everything I wanted for myself, and how aggressive I was when opening the letter out of pure excitement. It was my own personal time capsule. Realizing what I had written allowed me to analyze how much I have grown, not only as a person but as a writer. Although receiving the letter this past summer, I came to the realization how awful the paper actually was. Sentences didn’t make sense. I used bigger words to seem smarter, although they didn’t work. There were mistakes across the whole thing, but it was the sentimental value of the paper that allowed me to enjoy the moment. I knew that while the paper was horrendously written, I wasn’t the same writer. Throughout high school, my academics and teachers pushed me to grow as a writer. Doing different activities, and reviewing different types of writing assignments underlined my issues, and I fixed them. I remember sophomore year English we were required to sit down with our teachers, and read line by line to comb through the paper. This enhanced my skills to understand where I had grammatical and other issues in my paper. Peer editing was persistent once I had entered my junior year, even for classes besides English such as history and psychology. While it took time and effort I could reflect on work to see where I had grown and where my mistakes kept reoccurring.

From a visual perspective a picture is worth a thousand words. To me seeing something as simplistic as a picture doesn’t help me analyze and visually see the memory. Having something written down and explained allows me to understand the context. From there the visualization of the memory or information comes easier to me. It’s a different perspective and holds what might’ve happened on a certain day. The letter, and this paper really allowed me to step back and see how time and actions can evolve. This may seem minuscule, but I wrote out a list of my best friends and wrote that’d they would be holding my hand through high school, only to come to the realization I grew more than expected. Having read it my senior year right before graduation helps me visualize the maturity I gained throughout high school. This moment truly allowed me to understand what it takes to grow as writer, and the skills you have to adapt to. The idea of writing in the journal visually puts forth the details of stories and information. I didn’t think that letter from 4 years ago could allow me to understand where I started. My literacy moment was captured right there, writing a letter to my older self. This letter was a tangible piece of evidence that displayed my academic performance from eighth grade. This letter was my own personal memoir to see my growth. I’ve come to see what I have completed in terms of writing. I would’ve never guessed it, but I thank my eighth grade teacher more than I ever thought I would.

Now I have new opportunity to take this time frame of work and effort to put it towards my four years at college. While I didn’t focus to much to analyze my growth in high school as much as I’d like to, I can do that now for the next four years of my life. To see when I turn twenty one before graduation of college, to understand the maturity I have gained throughout the upcoming years. If I were to take the same idea, I can write myself a letter explaining what I want for my life once I graduate college, and where I’d like to end up for medical school. How my friends and brothers do with college, and where they end up as well. To hope that what I have in line for myself will stay on a similar track onto where I’d like to see myself. This literacy moment can be implemented in my life beyond school, and be placed as a permanent time capsule to use in my life, taking the same idea and putting forth ideas allowing to identify the growth of maturity I’ve gained. And to think this idea came from the start of eighth grade for an assignment; it’s something I plan to use for another four years of my life.