Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee


“The beautiful thing about being human is that we are capable of change, if we so choose.” (Jayni Gogineni)

The people that you used to be don’t ever go away.

Not really.

They haunt you like ghosts, coming back when you least expect it.

My ghost is my freshman self. The one who would rather be hated than admit any kind of insecurity. The one who was disrespectful and loud with their opinions. The one who left such a horrible impression that four years later, I was still judged for who I used to be.

That first week of my senior year, I made a friend. We grew close in the span of a few weeks, and they came to mean a lot to me. Maybe a week after we had started hanging out, my friend sent me a text.

“Oh great, my mother already has her doubts about you.”

My stomach twisted and tightened, and despite my efforts to control my frantic mind, I could feel the edges of panic set in. My mind was spiraling down into that dark, black hole of ‘what if’s.’
My friend promised to call and explain what had happened. I nervously waited, trying to keep my worried mind distracted. When the call came, the silence on the other end felt deafening. Eventually, stumbling over words, my friend told me what happened.

An older sibling had talked to a teacher, who described the kind of person I was freshman year. That information was quickly relayed to my friend’s mom, who shared different values than me, furthering her initial dislike.

Immediately, I was judged for my aggressive attitude that I harbored freshman year. From there, I was at a disadvantage. I had to work to rewrite her perception of me, as someone who was more mature and understanding. By the time I got to meet some of my friend’s family, they had all heard the rumors. I remember the first time I ever went to their house. I met some of my friend’s family and despite their polite hellos, there was still that unspoken awkwardness between us.

From there I spent day after day being as polite and kind as I possibly could, hoping to change what they all thought of me. My friend stood by me, enduring the underhanded comments their family said about me when I wasn’t around. They stuck by me. We didn’t give up, and after some time I could see my efforts start to pay off. Our greetings went from a brief hello to a welcoming smile and conversation.

As they began to trust me, they became less strict about when me and my friend could meet. Things became almost normal. I could laugh, joke and have conversations with them without feeling like I was being judged for every word I chose. I don’t blame them for their initial dislike of me. I know they simply want what is best for my friend.

The beautiful thing about being human is that we are capable of change, if we so choose.

I’ve spent years wishing I could take back who I was four years ago. I wish I could apologize to the people I was senselessly mean to. I wish I could have realized that it’s okay for people to think different things.

But after all that wishing, I realized something. Spending forever in the past only pulls us backwards. We all have made mistakes. We all have moments we want to go back and change. But we can’t. We can only change who we are now. Instead of simmering in that regret, we can learn from our past and improve. In one way or another, we learn to live with our ghosts.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Roslyn Dobbins, Reporter
Roslyn Dobbins (she/her) is a senior on staff who loves books because the movie adaptations are usually awful. She may not always seem the most enthusiastic but that’s just because she is awkward around people. Don’t be too harsh on her, she is doing her best. In her free time she ice skates and secretly likes impressing her friends with her mediocre skills. 
Jayni Gogineni, Photographer
Jayni Gogineni (she/her) is a senior and a first year staffer. Her bias is Kim Taehyung from BTS. Her favorite genre of music is R&B and she likes food, especially fried chicken. She also enjoys exquisite drinks such as orange mango Snapple which is always out of stock in Marcus. She’s excited to work in the Marquee this year!

Comments (0)

All The Marquee’s Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *