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The Current

The Current

Editorial: Does your past define you?

Editorial cartoon by Leo Jackson

Everyone has a past – that much is undeniable. Everyone had a chapter in their story before they came into yours. How they may have lived that past is another thing. Some people could have been absolute angels, and others devilish deviants. Does that necessarily mean that they are like that today? Does their past define who they are in the present day?

We at The Current believe that your past does not necessarily define who you are today.

Sophomore Noah Mann agreed with the consensus of The Current.

“I don’t think your past should define you at all,” he said. “There are a lot of things that people do in the past, but they change – they become better.”

Sophomore Connor McGehee had a similar opinion with Mann.

“I wouldn’t say someone’s past really defines them, because there are some things that happen to you and you learn how to overcome them and be stronger,” he said. “I come from a family with a lot of issues with drug and alcohol addictions. Growing up and seeing that stuff, I know that my past isn’t going to define me.”

Junior Scout Pettitt also believed that one’s past does not have to define them.

“It shouldn’t have to, because there’s no point to look back on the past that was so long ago and say, ‘Oh yeah, it’s going to affect my entire life from now on and completely ruin the rest of it,’” she said.

Pettitt later elaborated on her opinion.

“I’m not going to live my life constantly worried about about what I did, and not about what I’m going to do,” she said. “My past is my past. It’s not who I am now – it’s who I was then.”

Other students had a differing belief. A few Bruins had the reasoning that their past shaped them to be how they are today, therefore, defining them.

“For me, it definitely defines me, because I’ve gone through very, very hard times in my past,” said Senior Layla Ray. “So going forward through life, I’ve known when to quit certain things, when to keep going, when to stop, and when to tell myself that I am enough.”

Others agreed with her, such as Senior Madelyn Wilson.

“My past has shaped who I am as a person,” she said. “I grew up being home schooled, and that shaped my experiences and view of the world. I’ve learned what it’s like to be new, and how to adapt to new situations.”

Freshman Jordan [Jake] Vogt agreed.

“I don’t personally think people can change, so, in my opinion, it does define you,” he said. “I think that it can help determine who you are.”

Secretary to the Assistant Principal, Stephanie O’Callaghan, offered an interesting view on the subject.

“I think you get to choose what from your past defines you,” she said. “I think you choose the positives from your past, and let that guide you, and help you overcome the negative parts and obstacles that you may have faced.”

She later continued.

“I think your past is an important part in who you are and who you become, but you can choose how you let it affect you,” she stated.

Many Bruins believed that it depends on the person.

“In some instances, depending if you’ve done something especially terrible, then your past would define you,” said Senior Ethan Brassfield. “There’s a grey area; if it was so long ago, then it should not reflect who they are today. People can change.”

Ray had a similarly neutral opinion.

“I know some people who have gone through really hard times and yet have made their future not at all what their past was,” she said. “It varies from person to person and what they’ve gone through.”

Although people have differing opinions on whether or not one’s past defines them, most students agree that people can at least change their ways.

“You need to take responsibility for your actions because what you do in the past will have consequences in your life, but you shouldn’t make judgments from their past if they have repented for it,” said Wilson.

“I’ve done things in my past that I wouldn’t do now because I’ve changed as a person, and I’m much different and not defined by those things,” said Sophomore Amber Bell. “I take responsibility for it and move forward. I wouldn’t say that my past would keep me from becoming what I want to be in the future. Bad things that have happened in my past shouldn’t stop me from pursuing things in my dreams for the future. I would not say my past defines who I am now – my current actions and choices define my current self and future.”

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Editorial: Does your past define you?