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Pondering the what-ifs

Branden Franzen
Branden Franzen

Looking back, there are so many things in my life that could have changed who I am. Things that I could have done differently or not done at all.

What if I would have spent 10 more minutes practicing in the gym? What if I would have taken that shot? What if I would have asked that girl out? What if I would have picked a different college?

It blows my mind to think about how each and every decision I make affects my life. I recently watched the movie "Mr. Nobody," which really opened my eyes to how this works. One act of kindness can keep someone from harming themselves. One dollar to a homeless person can change the way they look at life.

From this point on, I am going to do everything that I can to change people's lives for the better. Good deeds can be things as simple as holding the door open for someone. I have heard stories of people driving, contemplating suicide, when they see a person in a passing car wave at them. Something this simple has made people rethink their lives and see that there is kindness in the world.

Waking up with a good attitude helps with this mindset in life. When I am at a cold baseball game, my coach, Mr. Foreman, tells us “The cold is all in your head,” and it is true, if you don't think about the cold, you don't feel cold. It works the same way with your mood. If you tell yourself that you're going to be happy today, and you disregard the negativity, your life will be more uplifting.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Ottawa Times for allowing me this position. I would also like to thank everyone who reads my articles and everyone who has pushed me to be the man that I am today.

As my high school adventure draws to an end, I know that because of everyone in my life I will continue to succeed with whatever challenge is thrown at me. I hope everyone can learn from my writing that a strong mind and determination can get you a long way in life. Stay strong, work hard, be humble, and never forget where you came from. Thank you.

BRANDEN FRANZENáis a senior at Serena High School. He can be reached via

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