St. Ignatius
Ryiu

I think I have grown in many ways. I've gotten taller, I've come out of my shell more, and I'm better at the sports I play. However, the growth area where I really want to focus on is how I've improved at making friends because it's something I'm most proud of. In 6th grade, I was sort of friends with a lot of people, but they were people who I wasn't truly comfortable with. I just kept that to myself though. I wasn't that close to any of my friends in the sense that it was only really a school friendship. I never talked to them outside of school. But now that's changed. When I got into 7th grade, I started to realize what a good friend was and was able to find the friends that I have now. They are my friend group. Even though it's only the 4 of us, we are all comfortable with each other and we can say anything around each other. We hang out in school and outside of school. I like to think of it as a brotherly relationship between us because we are so close. This is a skill that I think I have really grown and which is why I'm so proud of it. I've made friends that I will have for a long time and I think that's a really important thing, having people you can talk or go to at any time. 

Some of my passions are playing video games, sports, and cooking. I've been playing video games since I was little. My dad showed them to me and I loved to play them in my free time. I still do! They are very special to me because I can play and talk to my friends that I might not see in real life anymore, but I do on the game. I also have a passion for playing sports. I've been playing sports since I was little. I never really watch sports channels, so my curiosity sparked even more when I learned how certain sports worked and how to play them. Everywhere I have been, I have always played sports. It's a part of me, or that's what I like to think because I have it with me wherever I go. I play basketball and run cross country. I think I am pretty good at running because I got first place in a race during our Cross-Country season this year. I would also like to run track in high school because it seems very fun and I want to get better at it. But my favorite sport is swimming. My mom's friend introduced me to it, and it was love at first sight. I would go practice almost everyday but my coach made me do the same thing. Back and forth on the kickboard. Back and forth. Back and forth. For 2 hours! I was so confused. But after a month of doing that, the coach knew I was ready to learn the more advanced stuff. 2 years later, I became one of the best swimmers on the team and I was still confused why I just went back and forth, over and over, on the kickboard. Then, I realized and it was because I was just starting, and learning everything at once would be overwhelming for me. Learning it little by little would be way more effective.  This taught me something I use everyday: not to rush into anything! I now know I need to take my time when I’m doing something and once I understand it, then I can start going at a faster pace. In addition to sports, I love to cook. I stand by my mom and watch her cook a lot and I think that sparked my love for cooking. I can cook most things from my memory. I've  learned to make big dishes for my family and I cook for them sometimes when my mom is tired after getting home from work. I think it's fun to know that you can turn things that don't look tasty into appetizing dishes that people love to eat.