My freshman year has taught me a lot. From my professors to random strangers, every person who I have interacted with has left an impression on me. Some of these people I now look up to as my role models. The lessons or values these role models have shared now influence me and my way of thinking. I know what it means to look up to someone, but, what does it mean to have someone looking up to you? What does it mean to be a role model? I have been thinking about this question recently. I define a role model as someone who has values and traits that others would want to embody. Generally, a role model presents positive values like integrity and compassion. I think anyone can be a role model to another person no matter the age.
I was always told that I was a role model for my younger brother and cousins. I was the oldest of the children, so all the kids had their attention towards me. My brother, when he was younger, would come to me asking questions and making sure something he said was right or wrong. He looked up to me for answers and guidance. Anything I did would eventually be copied by him. Any misbehavior would be traced back to me. I somewhat understood the general concept of a role model but never fully comprehended what it meant to be one. I think in middle school was when I started to realize what that title means. Teachers would start encouraging you to think about career options. Never asked how you were going to do it, just what do you want to be when you are older. When I told my brother I was thinking about doing something in the medical field because I wanted to help people, he started thinking about helping others and also doing something in medicine. Now that he’s a senior in high school, he is looking towards being a physical therapist. I don’t think he remembers that interaction, but I believe my own values have influenced him.
It’s not just my brother who I am a role model too. People from my youth group, school, and friend groups have also look towards me for guidance. They ask questions relating to college, relationships, and general life advice. They look up to me for answers. I know my actions will impact another person’s life. Anyone can be a role model, even if they are not aware of those who admire them.