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Making an Impact

I have always loved the comparison between military children and dandelions. Dandelions are comprised of seeds that flow through the air when removed from the stem until they land somewhere new. The seeds plant themselves where they land and grow into a fresh dandelion, which repeats the process.

Military children follow their active-duty parents wherever they are stationed and plant themselves in each new home, or at least they should. I have known other military teens with a ‘why does it matter if I even do anything here, I am just going to leave’ attitude... and I get it. I have felt that way sometimes, too. The thing I like to remember is that you can still leave an impact, even when you leave.

If you make an effort to be a part of your school community, teachers will remember you. Friends will remember you, too. Maybe a teacher will keep an assignment you did to use as an example of what you are supposed to do. Maybe a teacher will recount the time you gave a rousing and confident presentation on one of your favorite historical figures. Maybe they will remember the time you brought them something for teacher appreciation day. Maybe your teacher will share an interesting fact that you shared with them. You never know what actions will make someone remember you, but you can guarantee no one will remember you if you don’t make an effort to be memorable.

I have lived in seven different states and countries and attended nine different schools in my 15 years of life, and I have sometimes felt that I didn’t matter to the people at my school. I was just one more student to grade, one more person in the hallway. That isn’t always the case, however. Listen to how often a teacher says something along the lines of ‘I had a student once...’ or ‘this was given to me by another student’ or ‘one of my students told me that...’. Pay attention to the times when the teacher is sharing a project or presentation someone made and remember what you are thinking. You are probably grateful to have an example to base your assignment off or even fascinated by the facts shared in the project. Even if they don’t say your name, they remember what you did. Small things like that can still affect someone. Maybe your great example project will help inspire someone for their future great example project. Perhaps, God forbid, you will be an example of what not to do. Even then, you give someone a laugh or a bar to soar above.

Those are just small things you can do to leave an impact. But, if you want to be remembered by many, go bigger. Try out for a team and be remembered as an excellent teammate, who moved on to be another team’s excellent teammate. Join your school’s yearbook or newspaper staff, and be remembered forever with your name printed in the byline of an impactful story. Find your interests and follow them anywhere you go. Plant seeds anywhere you live.


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