This I Believe: more than just an assignment


Ava Charnley, Staff writer

This I Believe, an essay writing competition for students, has been around for six years and every year we are given the same prompt. What do you believe in? Sadly, to many students this assignment has become tedious and they no longer put time and thought into their essay. This is unfortunate. An untold story is a door closed. This I Believe gives us a chance to dig deeper and find the true meaning to our stories and maybe find a new belief we never even knew we had before. 


I believe that we should take advantage of this opportunity that we are given.  To tell a story unlike anyone else’s is a gift. We get the chance to question who we are and what we stand for before we have to enter the real world, before these belief statements have to take on a true part of our lives. This assignment can open new doors for us, and many of our fellow students and faculty fully support This I Believe


Mr. Mroczkiewicz, English teacher and avid supporter of This I Believe and English stated, “Ultimately, that is the foremost positive of TIB: it gives voice to students who may not have had that opportunity in the past. We all carry something within us that begs to be shared — a story, a thought, an experience — and TIB grants those stories life.” However, TIB does more for us than just providing a way to be heard; it provides a platform to overcome our fears.


Elah Abbott, a junior and finalist for This I believe in 2021, stated, “Initially, my greatest fear in the process was the public speaking aspect. This event was just the first step for getting over my fear of public speaking, but It helped immensely.” For Elah though it was about more than conquering her fears she stated, “My story was a hundred percent me and I think that’s why I enjoyed creating it so much. I think that the point of your paper is to only be who you are deep down so that you can be your most vulnerable self.” This I believe gives us that chance to be vulnerable and to dig deeper into ourselves just as Elah Abbott did and many other students. 


Brasen Starbuck, a sophomore and finalist for This I believe in 2021, allowed himself to be vulnerable and looking back on it he stated, “I saw a different side of myself when I was writing. I’m not usually very open with my past and I showed a vulnerable part of myself most people haven’t seen before. This was a hard thing to do.” Showing that part of yourself can be difficult, however, this is an amazing opportunity to allow yourselves to be vulnerable and to help others through similar situations. 


Mr. M summed it up the best though, “Confront truth without fear. Live loudly.” 

I think we can all learn to live a little more like that. The next time you sit down to write your This I believe essay and nothing comes to mind. Don’t fill the space with letters that fill a page, but not a part of yourself. Take the time to sit, to think, to really believe, only then can you see a part of yourself that you never knew existed, and will fully be able to tell a part of your story. Don’t close the door on your story, turn the handle and see what awaits you.