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Holly McCamant: Childhood memories and who we are today

Recently in one of my classes, we talked about how childhood memories affect who you are today as a person. I remember a surprising amount, so this was a very interesting topic for me.

I have a couple of things that I remember from before preschool. I know I can remember back that far because I can tell all the details about my third birthday cake.

My mom put a lot of effort into a pink, strawberry monkey cake with pink frosting and those sugar letters. I also recall my mom telling me that my best friend was moving and exactly why. I even have a memory of being in at another friend’s house when I was 2 years old.

The first time I have a clear memory that I can tell a story about is the time we adopted our dog, Julie. I remember multiple moments from that day. That was probably the highlight of my childhood.

However, starting in preschool, I have a lot of irrelevant memories. I remember the dumb comments some of my fellow Fours’ Alone classmates made while we drank chocolate milk. Being the scaredy cat I was, I was freaked out by the shaving cream that some others played with, and I can also remember not wanting to dress up like a doctor. 

The trend of remembering really unnecessary things has continued throughout my life.

Elementary school memories, while not always the greatest, take up a huge portion of my memory. We remember so much, but how does it affect us now when it doesn’t seem important anymore?

The memories that affect me today are the ones that have some relevance. I think I must have gotten in trouble at my friend’s house when I was 2 because I still can recall that feeling I had when I was in that room.

I felt very loved by my mom when she made me that monkey cake. I was upset that my friend was leaving and wasn’t going to forget why he left. When my mom told me about the job his dad had to do and that was the reason why he was moving, I realized the world wasn’t always that great of a place.

I don’t identify myself with the person I was before seventh grade. That girl was completely different. She wasn’t that athletic and hated running, didn’t eat a lot and was very socially different. But my past still affects me.

When you’re young, you tend to set your ideals up for life. Your idea of a family is what you have then. You come up with the idea of what you want to be. The people you idolize will be the people you most likely will idolize the rest of your life.

What you learn then will shape you a lot. I just Googled that friend that left when I was 3, and he turned out to be a distance runner too. They’re just some things that are bound to happen, even at an early age.

You can’t tell it, but chances are your younger years have a greater impact then you might think.

Holly McCamant is a sophomore at Frazee-Vergas High School.