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Crimson Newsmagazine

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Growing roots in solid ground


The impact people and the environment around can have

There’s a common theme among those who grow up in a small town: they want out as soon as they can. They want to go backpacking through Europe or stare out at the skyline in a big city or maybe they simply want to venture into the town an hour south. It is through these hopes and aspirations that we start to forget just how consequential and significant life in our hometown can be.

Regardless of where we come from, where we go, or how long we stay there, we each grow our roots deep into anywhere and everywhere we go. It is the people, the culture, and the experiences we have that feed us and help us spread further into the solid ground, giving us a stable foundation for our lives. We learn from the experiences, the people, and the environment that surround us. They influence our decisions and motives throughout our lives, whether we recognize it or not — and even if they are from a provincial place like Paso Robles. So remember the important things and experiences. It’s your responsibility.

It is just as vital that we support each other and ensure that we are all growing in the right direction. You can be as positive as you wish about where you come from and choose to only focus on the good, but if the people around you do not support each other and give a full sense of community then there are very few opportunities for those individuals to flourish. “Remember your roots,” follows a common notion. “They are the foundation of your life and the wings of your future.”

As we, the Crimson staff, recognize these reasons, we find it more than worth our time to dig deeper into the Bearkittens program. Students on campus have become teachers of young children under Director Brenda Matthysse’s program, raising up the next generation and developing the principles of potentially vital future members of our community.

However, positivity does not mean that we should always remain in our hometown until the day we die, clinging to the hope that we will continue to progress. Rather, it means the opposite. We need the opportunity to take in the world around us, to learn and grow from others and from new and exciting events in our lives.

It is just as vital to allow ourselves to learn from the beginning of our lives and acknowledge the rich elements that ultimately led us to develop. We can learn from the times that we burst into laughter in the middle of class. We learn from meeting and missing deadlines. We learn from screaming for the home team at homecoming, not even caring if they win or lose. We learn from heart to heart talks with our friends and mentors, from grasping at every opportunity we can and losing hold of what really matters to us as individuals. We learn together and we learn from each other. We will learn from these roots. But what we learn from it is ultimately our choice.

There is no such thing as a perfect town or a perfect family or a perfect home; everything has room for improvement in someone’s eyes, and there’s no point in trying to view everything as flawless. We, however, are the product of our surroundings, and the product of how we view them. We have to let each other and our homes influence us, and we have to accept that they will do so whether we want them to or not.

It is not our decision where we grow our roots. We can, however, decide how we want to grow them.

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