Driving through a snow storm on a cold October night, my mother held in her arms a child she expected to see a week later. In the blink of an eye, sixteen years of my life passed by. Although I am only sixteen, I have met thousands of people during my lifetime. Over the years I have made friends and lost some, met teachers and seen them retire, and flown half way across the world to visit family members I rarely see. All of these people have influenced me positively, negatively, and sometimes in both ways; however, only a few have truly shaped me into the person I am today.
Mrs. Ping, Bess Neiblum, Emma Marsho, Pavani Samala, Usha Samala, and Jagadishwar Samala all played and continue to play a major role in helping me achieve my goals in life through their relationship with me, advice, and actions. Reminiscing about 2008, I consider myself lucky to have found my love for music at such a young age. I begged my parents to take me to piano lessons after watching my older cousin perform. It was not until my path crossed with my second piano teacher, Mrs. Ping, in 2012 that my passion for music began to grow exponentially.
At the end of almost every lesson she tells me, “even though you’re in high school and very busy, if you love something enough, you can always make time for it. ” This phrase holds a tremendous amount of importance to me because it not only applies to music, it also applies to many other aspects in my life. Although Mrs. Ping has only been on the board for less than four years, she continues to hold a permanent place on my board of directors due to the fact she has taught me more than most of my previous teachers. She has taught me about life and decision making despite being a piano teacher.
Mrs. Ping currently does not know that she fulfills a very important place on my board, perhaps because we both communicate about everything to each other but our emotions. Because I will graduate soon, I plan on telling her the role she plays in my life in the near future. Mrs. Ping has helped me through the wisdom she gained through the many years of her life, but I have friends months younger than me that maintain a chair on my board of directors. In seventh grade English, a girl with long brown hair and big glasses sat across on the other side of the classroom.
I never spoke to her, but just by listening to her speak and seeing her smile at everybody gave me insight about her personality. Today, Bess has short hair and wears contacts, but she still has one of the most optimistic personalities. Ever since we became best friends two years ago, Bess Neiblum has filled a spot on my board of directors because of the advice she gives. I admire that Bess does not let numbers define her. She tells all of her friends that grades, rank, weight and any other numbers that society labels us with is not something people should constantly stress over.
For example, when our close friend dealt with weight-related issues, Bess told her “do not worry about your weight, because it’s just the force of gravity between you and the earth. ” Bess remains on my board of directors because of her constant positivity and optimistic personality. Especially during stressful times, Bess has always been someone that I can rely on for support. She knows that she is on my board of directors because I tell her almost every day that she means a lot to me. Including Bess, I have another younger friend who helps me achieve my goals.
Moving from elementary school to middle school was a tough transition at the time. Once I got to Peirce Middle School, I often found myself in a room full of strangers. When our seats were assigned in sixth grade English, I met Emma Marsho and we instantly became friends. Emma and I were not very close in middle school, but in ninth grade we had every class together. After conversing with Emma daily, it became obvious that her brain was constantly active with ideas and thoughts. Whenever we collaborated on projects, she would present most of the ideas.
Emma Marsho has been on my board of directors since 2015, and she continues to earn her spot with her innovative ideas. Whether it be helping out with school, or ways to solve a problem, I know I can always depend on Emma to find a solution by offering clever ideas. Emma Marsho knows she is on my board of directors because I have recently shared this news with her. All of the previous board of director members have not been related to me, but my closest family members are all on my board of directors. In preschool, the teachers asked us to write about the most influential person in our lives.
Most kids wrote about their parents or grandparents, but I chose to write about my sister Pavani Samala. Although my childish actions always got my older sister in trouble, she still told me she loved me. My sister has been on my board of directors since I was three years old. Ever since I could communicate with her, she has provided me with honest feedback about my actions and thoughts. If something ever bothered me and I could not tell my parents, I went to my sister first. If I behaved rudely as a child, she would pull me aside and tell me to imagine what the other person was feeling.
No matter how hard it is to hear, my sister’s honesty prevails. Because my sister’s graduation will take place in a couple of weeks, I have spent the past year reminding her that she is one of the most influential people in my life and if she ever needs help, I will try to be the person she was to me. Although my mother and sister have similar personalities, her age often allows her to encourage me in different ways than my sister. My mother, Usha Samala, always wanted my sister and I to have the opportunities that she did not have as a child.
As a result, my sister and I took swimming lessons, music lessons, and dance classes for most of our lives. Ever since I was young, my mother encouraged me to challenge myself and take risks. After I learned piano, I feared performing the most. I decided that I would never perform in the presence of others, but my mother encouraged me to take on this challenge. Today, the thought of performing is not something I would willingly do, but it is because of my mother that I do not suffer from stage fright. My mother took her place on my board of directors about six years ago.
As a child, I was scared inform my mother about my life, so I went to my sister. As I got older, it became easier to speak with her. My mother knows that she is on my board of directors. Because of the stress she endures every day, I find it important to remind her that she has accomplished many feats. Most of the people on my board of directors have been female, but my father has tremendously influenced my life. The thought of my future has become more palpable now that I only have two years of high school remaining.
In my current school environment, I find it difficult to decide which subject I enjoy the most because I am focused on doing well in each class. My father, Jagadishwar Samala, has always encouraged me to live up to my full potential in school while simultaneously helping me decide which subjects interest me more than others. Whenever I spend time with him, he finds a way to incorporate my future into the conversation. The discussions I have had with my dad have helped me decide which careers I would not enjoy.
Although I do not know my career path yet, I know which career paths I most likely will not be taking. My dad has always been the easier parent to talk to for me. He has been on my board of directors since I was four years old. My father may know that he is on my board of directors, but I have not told him in the quite a while how much he has positively affected me. Many other people have influenced me, but Mrs. Ping, Bess Neiblum, Emma Marsho, Pavani Samala, Usha Samala, and Jagadishwar Samala truly continue to help me achieve my life goals.
My board of directors is filled with loving and supportive people. However, one person I want on my board of directors is someone who can cheer me on. My friends and family fulfill this to a small extent, but it is helpful to have someone cheering you on to success. Although some of the board of director’s roles overlap, this makes that influence twice as strong. In the future, I know I will meet thousands of more people. Maybe someday they will influence me more than my current board of directors, but currently, they offer most of what I need.