When he almost got caught up in serious trouble while trying to keep up with the cool crowd, Wilfredo Molina learned the true value of being yourself.
Do you ever feel like you don’t even know who you are? I often feel unfamiliar with my younger self because of my actions that were much unlike me today. From being hated by teachers to almost being arrested and overall a nuisance in school, I used to let others influence my decisions but I’ve changed for the better.
I was led to this unhealthy mentality of trying to be cool to please the clique I was in. I saw that these kids who acted up got all the attention and I wanted some of that popularity too. I’d commit actions otherwise seen as ridiculous by everyone else in the grand court of the school, but in the moment I would feel a rush of validation and felt like I finally belonged.
This behavior only got worse as time went on. It started with clowning on the teacher for laughs with my friends, but it quickly got out of control and almost led to something that could have gotten me in serious trouble.
One gloomy day after school, we jumped fences, climbed ladders and ended up on a rooftop of a corner store. When a neighbor threatened to call the cops, my friend shocked me by challenging their authority. I felt a rush — of fear. All I could think about was my future and what my parents would think of me.