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A middle school student reflects on a life-changing visit.

According to me, experiences influence our personality over time. From early childhood, I grew up in a nurturing and loving environment where I always felt safe. My parents always made me feel important. I was a stubborn child. I used to throw tantrums if things didn’t go my way. My mother was very patient and used to explain things to help me understand why things couldn’t always be how I wanted them to be. One day my school planned a trip to an orphanage. It totally changed my view.  

We were asked to bring whatever we wanted to donate. My mother gave me some of my old toys, clothes, and sweets. As we reached the orphanage, we saw many children of all ages. They were so happy to receive our items. After some time, we learned that they might only have two or three dresses to wear. They often ate the same foods. At the time, it seemed to me that these children didn’t experience the same love, care, and affection as me. I realized that while I never liked it when my parents reprimanded me for not studying properly, when I made blunders, or when I didn’t listen to them, there was so much love and concern behind every word they said. Visiting the orphanage was a life-changing experience for me.  

From that day I started appreciating the little things in life. I tried not to make material or social demands. I felt like helping people. I also started to understand and appreciate my mother’s advice and guidance and with her help, over time, I learned how to deal with my emotions. These experiences shaped me. I feel extremely grateful for my parents and all they do for me. I am thankful to them. The end.  

This piece was selected as a winner of the AAA’s AnthroDay Student Unessay Competition in the middle school division. Inspired by the AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting theme “transitions,” this year’s unessay competition invited participants to reflect on what transitions mean to them.  


Abiha Batool

Abiha Batool is an eighth-grade student at Pioneer High School Bahawalpur, Pakistan. She loves to write and share her personal experiences about life and people. The competition helped her to explore her experiences through an anthropological lens. This is her first time presenting her work in an international forum, through the Department of Anthropology at The Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

Cite as

Batool, Abiha. 2023. “Experiences .” Anthropology News website, July 20, 2023.

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