Editorials & Profiles

Marissa Boone*

Day 126: If learning your greatest life lesson the hard way were a contest, Marissa Boone*, 23, would have everyone beat. It’s not something that she’s proud of. It’s not even something she tells most people. “I grew up in a really ugly situation,” Marissa said. “And through that, I learned to not follow the Pied Piper, but rather to be independent. My childhood was very different from what a lot of people experience. I don’t tell a lot of people about it, because they either say, ‘What the hell?’ or they don’t believe me.” Marissa’s childhood didn’t start out so difficult. She was an only child in a typically normal family. Her dad was an engineer; her mom was a drama teacher. Although Marissa had a good relationship with both of her parents, she was drawn...

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Malloree Nilson

Day 107: “School was my misery growing up,” Malloree Nilson, 24, said. “I had trouble paying attention. My mind would go totally blank on tests. I had a lot of anxiety during exams because I saw other people finishing a lot earlier than me. In school, it’s uncool to be the last kid to finish because then you’re just the stupid kid. All of this started when I was really young, too. I was in tutoring as early as 1st grade because I was slow. It was embarrassing. All I wanted was to be the best student and the teacher’s pet. I was trying my best, but everyone thought I wasn’t trying at all.” Things only got worse for Malloree as she got older and switched from a small school to a much larger one. “All of a sudden, I wasn’t around the people I’d grown up with. I...

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Carol Veach

Day 19: There are some people in my life that I could listen to all day long. They’re just wise. My mom, Carol Veach, 53, is that way. I don’t say that just because she is my mom, either. I say it because it’s the truth. So I was honored when she agreed to sit down with me and share one of her greatest life lessons. Interestingly enough, my sister and I had something to do with it. “People need to be more gentle with themselves,” she said. “Sometimes it’s easier to forgive others for their imperfections than ourselves. This has not come naturally to me. I’ve learned it by watching you girls struggle. You’re so hard on yourselves.” Even though I know that my mom is very intuitive, I was still surprised that she had picked up on the way my sister and I handle...

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