I go to a school of roughly 2200 kids. When I first started, there I hated it. I hated the fact that I didn't know everyone by their first and last name. I hated that I didn't have a personal relationship with all the teachers. I overall didn't like that I didn't feel important in a school so big and never knew the effort that it would take to make an impact.

I would say I have direct contact with at least 200-250 people a day. Those people can range anywhere from the 4 other people in my Spanish group to the 40 people that I share a pool with at the end of each day. Or maybe it's the one person I see walking down the hall in the middle of class when I am on my 6th pee break of the day. Obviously it varies from day to day, but all in all I communicate with a lot of people in one day.

It never was important to me growing up what other people thought of me, and it really still doesn't to this day. I look at this as a for sure blessing in the personality department of my life. I am good with doing my own thing and not being reliant on anyone but myself. Throughout high school it hasn't bothered me to be the person that maybe stays a couple minutes after class to talk to the teacher about their sick kid or talk about a movie that just came out. Yeah people probably thought I was weird, but did I care?!? Lol no. Or what about sitting in a class that's silent and extremely awkward? I will be the first person to blurt out the answer or just make a stupid comment to lighten the mood. It's all good with me.

I have taken this "blessing," you could call it, and recently realized how easy it is for me and my personality to start to make an impact on others. I also have realized the different things that I have done in the past to impact others as well. Of course I am a teenage girl and everything that I do might not be a positive impact, but I sure have tried. Remember that it is always just as easy to make a negative impact as it is to make a positive one.

Also being in the position that I am in as an athlete on a big club team or even as one of the oldest in my family and my family's group of friends, I really strive to set good examples for what I value as important. I also am one of those people that love for everything to be perfect so if I want it that way I might as well model it. I have learned that imitation is the highest form of flattery and for little girls to be asking their moms for the same color bathing suit or even just wanting to listen to the same music as I do has gone a long way. I have watched so many girls grow up a couple years behind me and the young women that I have seen them become, brings so much happiness and joy to see the impact that I have created.

Aside from people younger than I am, I have also had the opportunity to make an impact on one's older than me as well. A few weeks back I was zip lining with my mom down in Florida. There was a woman on the tour that anyone could just tell she was a little crazy. Drugs and alcohol seemed to consume her life and it showed me that some people just aren't as lucky as I am and have grown up in different lifestyles. After the zip lining tour was over, I had the chance to sit down with the woman and share my life and how I find my happiness. I also got to share my faith which is something that I value a lot as well. I don't know how big of an impact I made, but I walked away from a situation knowing that I couldn't have done anymore. And that's what I feel like others should strive for as well.

There are so many little things all around us that can lead to us making an impact in the littlest or biggest ways. Here are some ways to start small that I have learned can bring joy to others.

1. Smile a lot - you don't know how a smile can change someone else's day along with how it can change yours. Smiling releases chemicals into your brain that triggers happiness and a good attitude. And of course everyone has their own unique smile that is so beautiful in its own way.
2. Make small talk - I don't care if it is with your lab partner or your English teacher. Show interest in their life because they are in yours.
3. Share the things that make you happy - not only will this bring happiness to you, but when others see the light in your eyes, it will turn their days around as well.
4. Don't be afraid to reach out to people you might not usually reach out to - if you usually might not reach out to them, do other people feel the same way? Compliment the shy girl on her shoes or ask the shy boy about his baseball game. They'll love it and it give them an opportunity to talk to people they might not usually talk to.
5. Listen to good music - this not only will help you, but help your attitude with others.

There are so many small and big ways to make a difference in someone's life, and usually, that difference will come back around and make one in your life as well.

Song Recommendations:
Soul on Fire // Third Day
Do Something // Matthew West (this fits perfectly with this topic!)
Diamonds // Hawk Nelson

Every day is a terrible day for a miserable person, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.


WRITTEN BY Courtney Kresl