The past dictates the future; this is something I first realized at a very early age. For instance, I soon learned that hitting my brother would result in me getting in trouble. This idea of the past impacting the future was further reinforced when learning about history back in elementary school. My class was researching ancient civilizations such as Rome and the Greeks. Reading about Rome’s engineering achievements to their propensity for war; I saw that what Rome did affected its future. From first learning about the past’s impact through my actions as a young child to this quarter at UCLA when William Faulkner was quoted as saying, “The past is never dead, it is not even past”, I constantly see that what a person or a nation or a world does will determine its future.
I am fascinated with the past, with its richness and depth but mainly because of its impact on the future. This fascination has made me an avid reader and researcher of history. I have read about and have taken classes spanning the full length of human existence, from our origins in Africa to the present, and from Australia to North America. There were times in high school when I even read the history textbook on the weekends for fun. This deep interest in history has resulted in me declaring myself a history major at UCLA.
I believe I am most interested in the past’s influence on the future because I crave answers to how my own life will unfold and what will become of our nation and our world. I, like many other people, am afraid of that which is unknown or uncertain. I wish I knew exactly how attending UCLA versus a college closer to my home would impact my life for instance. But alas as I cannot, I research the past for clues about the future. I do what I do because I hope that through learning about the past I will learn about my future.