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Science Leadership Academy @ Center City

Advanced Essay: A bad Memory

Intro:  Is it possible to hate the feeling of love? Why can’t we just be with the people that makes us happy? My goal with this paper was to just go all out and not be afraid to write what I feel. I feel that I did well with description, and focusing on a larger issues for many people in the world. I feel that added to my scenes.

A Bad Memory.

In hopes of gaining more knowledge you try to understand a variety of things and why they matter to you especially. You try to understand why there are memories you put an effort in forgetting and decisions you wish you could erase. You dab at making sense of things that have always been complicated in your eyes. I can’t come to acknowledge the fact that I have put myself in such a position, a position of self-destruction. As I pace back and forth in this large, cold room, I feel goosebumps crawling up my spine as I was disgusted by the actions I have taking to solving my problems. I plan on leaving this world for the better. What other choice is there?

At a young age, we are always reminded that soon we shall meet our prince charming, so we should safeguard ourselves. However, once the time has come they make it impossible for you to keep your happiness. Now I feel beads of sweat on my forehead, and the shaking of my hands I can no longer control. Had I known I would be in such pain, I would have tried harder to control my love.

I have falling in love with a man. I never understood the saying “love hurts” because I found those words foolish. How can love hurt, when love is supposed to make you content? I have come to realize that the saying indeed is true and it’s me who is foolish. I had all my hope up, I would dream of the day him and I would live happily ever after. However, my family has snatched away our happily ever after. They have refused the man that I love because of where he is from. I tried to explain that love doesn’t have an age, a race or a gender. Nonetheless, once the heart is filled with ignorance, it will always be difficult to see two sides.

In this same room he came with respect, to ask for my hand in marriage. That was were I went wrong. We should have ran away together, like I suggested. He wanted to get my fathers blessings. We had planed to see how this day would turn about, and I have giving up on making the ignorant understand that I am just a young girl who is in love with a man. A humbled and honored man who has a different culture than I do. This is a day I would try so hard to forget but I won’t be able to.

Father- “You’re a man of a different background than Aissatou.”

Lover- “I love Aissatou so I will learn what she knows.”

Father- “Culture and tradition is something you grow up around not something you learn from just a simple explanation.”

Lover - “I will love her till the end, and live the way she wants us to live, with your culture.”

While these words are being exchanged, neither my father nor my lover is backing down I found something to focus on. I had to free myself of this debate. Something that reminds me it’s not the end of the world though I am heartbroken. I stare at the shahada frame. I stare at it not comprehending what it was for a few minutes. I observe it’s gold edges and gold writing. The writing is in English and Arabic. The Arabic letters are bigger and they are on top. The English letters are medium sized and they are on the bottom. The rest of the image is the color burgundy. There is also a gold line surrounding the words. Everything about the image is shiny and polished. The Arabic words have vowels on top or under the letter, which are smaller than the letters. I feel my eyes blur with tears, but I will not shed any. No one deserves to see me in such a vulnerable state. Than I am shocked at the words I hear next.

Lover- Why can’t you just let your daughter be happy? Your so stuck on culture and what people think of you, that you don’t even think or care about how she feels.

Father- Can’t she think about her family? She is being ungrateful and she only thinks about herself.

Father- Leave my house now! The audacity to come into my home and disrespecting my cultural beliefs.

Lover- Please sir, try to understand.  

Father- There is nothing to understand, please leave.

My lover stares at me and I look away because the longer he looks at me the more I think of leaving with him. I look away and stare back at the shahada frame, the only thing that is keeping me sane. He leaves and my dad walks to his room. I am still lost in this frame as I realize how heavy it looks to me today. As if it’s also feeling my sorrow. The gold edges have small silver crystals around it. The English and Arabic words have glitter inside of them. The English words are translating what the Arabic words mean. I stand up and touch the frame. The meaning now stands out the me. I learned that I can’t be with the man I have falling in love with.

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Writing about Our Worst Experiences: ...

Writing about our worst experiences: reshaping memories.

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As many artists have noted, memory underpins imagination. Creating new artistic and intellectual works depends critically on the reshaping of what has gone before.

—Charles Fernyhough. Pieces of Light

At our recent MFA residency, I gave a workshop on writing about your worst experience, using a number of examples to illustrate how writers confront personal crises like madness, divorce, stillbirth, and the death of an adult child. To emphasize the role of craft in the nature of the telling, I chose two examples for each subject to illustrate possible approaches. The point I hoped to make was that there is no “natural” way to write about a traumatic event, no inevitable way of retelling. Choices and strategies can’t be avoided. Memory is only a starting point, and often not reliable. What results is, in effect, an inevitable reshaping that involves re-imagining and re-detailing.

My choices for stillbirth were passages from two memoirs, Elizabeth McCracken’s An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination and Ariel Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply . Although McCracken’s embryo had been declared dead, she still had to go through a delivery, in her retelling focusing on what other women had told her about stillbirth and on her concern that she might upset the pregnant woman outside in a waiting room. She doesn’t address her own feelings, at least not directly. Levy, on the other hand, uses a very different strategy. Hers was not a literal stillbirth. The premature baby lived briefly outside the womb. Her telling focuses on precise observation of the visual details of the child in her hands and, to a lesser degree, on her uncertainties about logistics, such as what to do about the umbilical cord.  Contrasting approaches to the same harrowing experience, both avoiding explicit rendering of their emotions.

My choice of the worst experience topic was not merely academic, which is why I used examples about madness. Just a few weeks before, Broad Street magazine had published my essay “Commitment,” about the trials of coping with the extreme psychosis of my first wife, Judy. Living through the experience had been a hell. But writing and revising an essay about it had been a process of seeking an opening tactic, choosing and arranging incidents as best I could recall, finding words and images—essentially absorption into the strategies of a creative process, not unlike writing a completely fabricated short story.

Vivian Gornik, in The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative , distinguishes the events that are the starting point for the act of writing from the representation that results:

Every work of literature has both a situation and a story. The situation is the context or circumstance, sometimes the plot; the story is the emotional experience that preoccupies the writer: the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say.

But while fiction allows the writer’s persona to exist in the background, memoir places the writer himself or herself in the foreground. Gornik calls it an “unsurrogated” persona and explains the demands on a writer of revelatory nonfiction: “The unsurrogated narrator has the monumental task of transforming low-level self-interest into the kind of detached empathy required of a piece of writing that is to be of value to the disinterested reader.”

The Dilemma of Memoir

That certainly was my dilemma in writing “Commitment.” How would I provide vivid descriptions to convey what I remembered experiencing and turn them into meaningful insights? Ironically, though I was hoping to give the reader an emotional frisson, I—while composing—was compartmentalizing, concentrating on finding effective words rather than reliving the decades-old agonies. Yet reading the magazine’s proof months after completing the essay turned out to be an emotional experience, even though the events had taken place some forty years ago, and I was long remarried. But at this point I was just a reader, not the author.

This wasn’t the first essay I had written about Judy; the earlier, called “Fade Far Away,” was based on the intense presence of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night in our lives. The relationship and the title choice of another phrase from Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” had become the basis of my deliberate essay design. (When that work was selected as a “notable” in Best American Essays , I felt an unease about exploiting pain for praise.) With “Commitment,” a title I had long been contemplating before the actual writing, I worked with the ironic dichotomy of commitment to marriage vows and commitment to a mental institution. It became the basis of my strategy.

Living with the nightmare of Judy’s madness had been, by far, the worst experience of my life. Yet, for me, writing about it was inevitable, just as many other writers find themselves drawn to creating poems, essays, stories, and novels about their most distressing times. An old saw among writers is, everything is material. Even, or perhaps especially, trauma. While non-writers often can’t stop replaying the worst in their brains, writers use the page to recreate the awful, much like picking at a scab.  Some have to do it immediately, while it’s still raw, others—like me—decades later or on several occasions over the years.

During our MFA residency, for example, one colleague read the opening section of a book about her husband’s dying at age forty. Another read the beginning of a memoir about being harassed by her graduate school mentor, and her anger at university officials who, unable to deny her evidence, badgered her into silence about it.

Other colleagues in the audience had published essays about topics such as their father’s suicide and their own teenage indiscretions. Students I’ve worked with have also written about the painful deaths of spouses, about the abuse of a dead spouse’s family, about post-traumatic stress from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, about recovering from addictions. These are only the examples I’m aware of, certain many others exist.

Why Do We Do It?

Why do we dredge up emotional pain? Why do we spend so much time immersed in reliving the most terrible times of our lives, times most people strive to suppress? Why don’t we just cry and scream?

Regarding screaming, I recall what I had been told about a former faculty colleague, a clinical psychologist with a private practice. He was an adherent of Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy, treating a patient who had dropped her infant from an upper story apartment window. Every visit, she came into his office and just screamed and screamed and screamed.

Although some writers may have screamed their own distress, as I once did, that’s not sufficient for individuals with a commitment to finding words for emotions. Rather than screaming, we seek the language and the craft strategies to present our greatest unhappiness. The process is not simply a matter of writing as therapy, a raw verbal outpouring, even though that might be a help to non-writers desperate for immediate psychic relief. Those writing for therapy are really just pouring feelings onto paper or screen, seeking a release rather than—like the serious writer—seeking to produce a creative work. The writer knows first and foremost that he or she is seeking methods to best convey the core of the experience, and make that core resonate with a reader.

Some writers certainly have deliberately written about worst experiences with a goal of emotional consolation or even healing from a trauma. And some may be unaware that such ends lay behind their creating. Whatever the writer’s goal—relief, healing, or just a crafted memoir—the writing itself cannot avoid revision, embellishing, and reorganizing the materials evoked though acts of memory. While any person who relives a worst experience is involved in a similar process, that person is almost always unaware of the shaping. Writers do it consciously and deliberately as they employ literary techniques to turn life into art.

Remembering as a Creative Act

When we write about our worst experiences, we are, of course, accessing memory; but memory is not a reliable tool. What we retrieve from the dark nights of our souls is some recollection of emotional anguish and some sense of the events behind that anguish. Such recollection is far from an exact replication of what actually took place.

The way we remember—as the psychologist and writer Charles Fernyhough explains in his book, Pieces of Light —belies the common notion of retrieving a literal reproduction stored whole in some mental file cabinet. Each remembering, in fact, is a recreation from the bits and pieces stored in different areas of our brain. Remembering itself is, in essence, a creative act. Fernyhough writes:

The truth is that autobiographical memories are not possessions that you either have or do not have. They are mental constructions, created in the present moment, according to the demands of the present. … Memory is more like a habit , a process of constructing something from its parts, in similar but subtly changing ways each time, whenever the occasion arises. This reconstructive nature of memory can make it unreliable.

Daniel Schacter, a Harvard psychologist, in The Seven Sins of Memory , explains one aspect of this unreliability by noting the impossibility of separating the actual events of the past from all that has happened in one’s life since then. In effect, memory is an interaction of past happenings and ongoing inputs derived from our later happenings:

We extract key elements from our experience rather than retrieve copies of them. Sometimes, in the process of reconstructing we add on feelings, beliefs, or even knowledge we obtained after the experience. In other words, we bias our memories of the past by attributing to them emotions or knowledge we acquired after the event.

In addition to the “intrusion” of new after-the-fact material, even the roots of the original memory are not contained as a whole in some corner of our brains. Instead, they are scattered throughout a number of different cerebral areas, requiring a reassembly that in itself introduces uncertainties.Fernyhough calls them “close collaborations between the medial temporal lobe circuits.”

While Schacter addresses the “bias” that results from subsequent living, Fernyhough adds “distortion” from the workings of the brain. Fundamentally, it’s impossible for anyone to recall past events with anything like photographic accuracy and reliability (excluding the rare memory savants with hyperthymesia, the ability to recall most details of their lives.) But even a photograph from our past, while compete in itself, is seen through the eyes of our present.

While I suspect that few writers who find words to relate and contemplate their worst experience are experts in the psychology or memory and the functioning of the human brain, they know instinctively that their work will only be an approximation of what “really” happened, not unlike a movie that purports to be a retelling of historical events.  But while the screenwriters’ fabrications are conscious choices for dramatic effect, the writer no matter how intent on avoiding falsifications cannot avoid creating something different from the actual events.  Beyond matters of selection and organization, even the choice of a single word to describe an aspect of an experience brings connotations unlike those of a different word, and no “right” word exists.

Certainly, the primal-screaming mother who dropped her baby is accessing a raw, excruciating emotion. If she were forced to put what happened into language, the result would be only the shadow of a retelling, probably different each time she constructed sentences.

How Memoir Writers Remember

The novelist Jack Smith recently interviewed several memoir writers for a 2018 article in The Writer , “Is the Memoir Market Oversaturated?” Two of the writers address the reorganizations and limitations of memory.

Kate Braverman, author of Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir , states:

Memoirs are not acts of journalism, either. The writer selects from the monumental possibilities, strategizes, omits, truncates, and then surprisingly expands. One examines and revises, denies and exaggerates, and in that active engagement with the page, the unexpected emerges. Memoir writing is about the illusion of truth.

Peter Selgin, author of The Inventors,  emphasizes the role of imagination:

Among the memoirist’s greatest challenges is to rescue memory from imagination, and to do so with the understanding that the one can’t survive without the other. The trick in writing memoir as faithfully as possible is to be aware of the role imagination plays in shaping our memories, in making them cohere into scenes.

Both writers emphasize the central role of creative choices and the awareness that what will result is not a literal replication, but rather a shaped imaginative work based upon actual events and people.

At our MFA residency, when questioned about their essays and chapters about a worst experience, the authors all noted a detachment, a compartmentalizing, as they immersed in creative strategies to get a reader to share their distress. And they knew what they were producing was a literary approximation. Because the creation was—inevitably—separate from the actual experiences, the biases and distortions of memory were givens. The inevitable choices of vocabulary, selection, and organization made while writing produce additional alterations.

A New Version of What Happened

Fernyhough goes further in distinguishing memoir from memory. As a conscious art form, memoir is much more detailed and specific, and “vividness does not guarantee authenticity.”

Writing about our worst experiences produces remade memories, which, as Ferryhough and Schacter demonstrate, is true for all remembering, but even more so for the writer aware of consciously manipulating his or her past for literary goals. In a real sense, finding words, images, and relationships results in a new imaginative version of that worst experience.

In light of Schacter’s explanation, any future remembering of that painful event will incorporate the “fabrications” of the written piece as one more influence when trying to reconstruct what has happened since the original. As hard as I tried to capture the “real experience” in my essay “Commitment,” I couldn’t avoid reshaping and, no doubt, recreating. Any of my future attempts to remember those painful long-ago events are now inseparable from the details of my reconstruction.

As much as a writer may strive to recapture the authenticity of how it was, an accurate depiction of awful events, no matter how painful, both the nature of memory and the consequences of craft choices will result in a variation of what actually happened, an echo of experience. The result is not a falsification. Beneath all literary remakings of worst experiences lies the core of something real that shook the writer’s life. When the result is successful literature, the writer has something to say that matters to readers, perhaps not discovered until the process of recreation.

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worst memory you have essay

Walter Cummins

Walter Cummins has published seven short story collections—Witness, Where We Live, Local Music, The End of the Circle, The Lost Ones, Habitat: stories of bent realism, Telling Stories: Old and New. He also has two collection of essays and reviews, Death Cancer Madness Meaning and Knowing Writers. More than one hundred of his stories, as well as memoirs, essays, and reviews, have appeared in magazines such as New Letters, Kansas Quarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Under the Sun, Arts & Letters, Confrontation, Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, The Laurel Review, Other Voices, Georgetown Review, Sonora Review, Broad Street, Weber Studies, Midwest Quarterly, West Branch, South Carolina Review, Crosscurrents, Crescent Review, The MacGuffin, in book collections, and on the Web. With Thomas E. Kennedy, he was founding co-publisher of Serving House Books, an outlet for novels, memoirs, and story, poetry, and essay collections. He teaches in the graduate creative writing programs at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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Why Your Memory Is Bad and What to Do About It

Last updated December 20, 2023. Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC . Written by Deane Alban .

Memory loss happens at all ages. Knowing the difference between normal and serious memory problems is important. Learn about the actions you should take.

A bad memory is frustrating and can be downright scary.

If your memory isn’t what it used to be, you might assume that your memory issues are an inevitable part of getting older.

If your memory gets bad enough, you might think that you’re headed for dementia or Alzheimer’s.

But memory problems can happen at any age and, in fact, are usually more a result of lifestyle habits than age-related mental decline.

There are many potential reasons for a bad memory, and fortunately, most are not serious or permanent.

Just as importantly, there are many steps you can actively take to improve your memory .

20 Signs Your Bad Memory Is Normal

Some forgetfulness is normal and happens to everyone from time to time; it’s nothing to be alarmed about. 

Here are 20 signs that your memory lapses fall within what’s considered a normal range :  

  • You remember the plot of a movie you recently watched, but you can’t remember the title. Or you can picture an actor’s face, but you can’t recall his name.
  • You can’t remember a word, but it’s not a conversation stopper. You usually think of it later or replace it with another word as you’re talking.
  • You know your way around town. But when giving directions to others, you might not remember the names of all the streets.
  • You walk into a room and can’t remember why you are there. This is a well-known phenomenon — walking through a doorway can cause a momentary memory lapse. 
  • You occasionally misplace everyday items like your keys, glasses, or remote control, but, for the most part, you remember where things are kept.

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  • You sometimes call your kids, coworkers, or pets by the wrong names, but you definitely know who is who.
  • You’ve been known to forget and miss an occasional appointment.
  • You don’t always remember what you just read. (This is most likely a concentration problem, rather than a memory problem.)
  • You remember the main points of conversations, but not always the details. So, you may remember the make and color of your friend’s new car, but forget the model.
  • You can usually compensate for your memory lapses so that they have little impact on your day-to-day life or performance at work.
  • Your memory is still good enough that you recognize when you’re forgetful.
  • You generally make good decisions and rarely agonize over them.
  • If you ask someone a question, their answer registers with you. You don’t keep asking the same thing over and over.
  • You may not always know the exact date, but you always know the year, month, and day of the week.
  • When you use memory tools like notes, lists, and appointment calendars, you find them helpful.
  • Your memory can be jogged if someone prompts you. So, when your significant other asks “Do you know what today is?,” you remember that you forgot their birthday.
  • You know how to use appliances and electronics around the house.
  • You’re able to learn new things when you want to or need to.
  • You find your forgetfulness more annoying than worrying and can usually laugh about it.
  • You sometimes feel frustrated about your bad memory, but not downright angry or in denial about it.

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If your memory is not much worse than it was a few years ago, that’s another indication there’s probably nothing to worry about.

For example, if you’ve always had a terrible sense of direction, getting lost now is normal for you and not a sign of cognitive decline.

To sum up, small or short-term issues are generally not a problem.

Larger or lasting changes in your memory, however, merit a closer look.

Lifestyle Causes of “Normal” Memory Loss

If your less-than-stellar memory is annoying to you but falls within the normal range, now is the perfect time to examine how your lifestyle is affecting your brain.

Often, a bad memory is merely a side effect of a hectic or unhealthy lifestyle.

A diet high in sugar and unhealthy trans fats can leave you in a brain fog and have you feeling anxious or depressed as well.

When your diet is poor, the brain doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to create healthy brain cells and form the brain chemicals that control memory.

Being stressed out makes you more emotional and less able to recall facts. 

Even moderate sleep loss can significantly affect mental performance. 

It should come as no surprise that the abuse of recreational drugs or alcohol can contribute to memory loss . 

Even dehydration can temporarily impact mental performance. 

Nutritional deficiencies are surprisingly common and can also be responsible for memory loss and other cognitive problems. 

Thus, you can improve your memory by getting enough quality sleep, eating a brain-healthy diet, and taking active measures to reduce stress.

NUTRITION FOR THE MIND/BODY CONNECTION

It’s almost impossible to live a lifestyle that provides all the nutrients needed for good brain health and performance. The reason? All of us confront multiple nutrient thieves — stress, poor diet, insomnia, pharmaceuticals, pollution, and more — that steal nutrients that the brain needs to thrive.

  • Provides the building blocks to create new brain cells and brain chemicals
  • Helps increase resilience to stress to avoid mental burnout
  • Supplies the brain with the fuel it needs for mental energy

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Memory Loss Causes in Young Adults

If you’re a young adult, you may be mystified as to why your memory is bad.

Typically, we think of memory issues as going hand in hand with aging, but unfortunately, memory loss is becoming more common in young adults.

One survey found that millennials (ages 18 to 34) are more likely to forget what day it is or where they put their keys than seniors. 

Memory loss in young adults is almost always a direct result of an unhealthy lifestyle that includes a lack of sleep, excess stress, a poor diet, and recreational substance use.

Binge Drinking and Recreational Drug Use

Binge drinking and recreational drug use are the most serious reasons that young adults have memory problems.

College students are at high risk for alcohol-induced blackout — drinking to the point of having little or no memory of blocks of time. 

During a blackout, your brain is literally unable to form new long-term memories . 

Multitasking

Many young people are glued to their electronic devices and are avid multitaskers, which is bad news for their mental functioning in several ways. 

Multitasking, which requires the brain to toggle back and forth between activities, disrupts short-term memory — the capacity for retaining pieces of information for short periods of time. 

Not paying full attention to any one thing makes it hard to remember anything.

EMF Exposure

Many young adults sleep with their mobile phones by their side, exposing their brains to potentially damaging electromagnetic fields (EMFs) 24/7.

EMF exposure can cause significant disruption in levels of brain chemicals , negatively impacting memory, learning, emotions, and stress levels. 

And finally, the blue light emitted by computing devices is especially disruptive to brain-restorative sleep . 

Two hours of tablet use before bed has been shown to significantly suppress the formation of melatonin , the body’s natural sleep hormone. 

Insufficient sound sleep can certainly affect memory since memory consolidation occurs during sleep . 

15 Signs Your Bad Memory May Be Serious

Now let’s look at signs that your memory issues may be serious.

Some of these you may have noticed yourself, or perhaps well-meaning friends or family have expressed their concern to you.

You should listen to them.

Studies show that friends and family can detect early signs of Alzheimer’s even better than high-tech medical tests. 

If you can answer yes to these questions, your memory lapses may be something to be concerned about:  

  • When watching TV or reading books, you have a hard time following plots.
  • You’ve been told that you repeat yourself during the same conversation or ask the same question over and over.
  • Your memory loss has scared you. Realizing that you don’t know where you are or that you left a burner on the stove on after leaving your home are examples of frightening memory lapses.
  • You get lost while taking familiar routes or when you’re close to home.
  • You frequently misplace things. You put things in strange places. You’ve even wondered if others are stealing from you.
  • You buy items at the store, forgetting that you already have plenty at home.
  • You sometimes find it difficult to keep up with everyday tasks like paying bills or preparing food.
  • You’ve tried using lists, reminder notes, and calendars, but they don’t help.
  • You’ve experienced personality changes. You’ve become more restless and impatient or quiet and withdrawn.

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  • Sometimes you forget to eat or can’t remember whether you’ve eaten or not.
  • You’re worried that you’re losing your grasp of reality and others have also expressed concern. They’ve questioned your judgment and your ability to take care of yourself, or have mentioned that you’ve acted inappropriately.
  • When others bring up these lapses, you get angry, defensive, or deny it.
  • You struggle to make decisions about everyday choices like which clothes to wear.
  • Your friends and family are subtly trying to take over tasks for you.
  • You’re coping, but daily life is becoming more difficult.

Experiencing these symptoms indicates what is considered abnormal forgetfulness . 

These symptoms may be early signs of mild cognitive impairment , a stage of cognitive decline that can precede dementia.

What to Do If Your Memory Loss Seems Serious

If you show signs of serious memory loss, you may be concerned that your condition could lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s.

" Prescription drug interactions may be responsible for as many as three out of four dementia cases.

While that’s possible, it’s more likely that you have an underlying health condition or take a medication that’s causing your memory problems.

So first, we’ll look at these two scenarios and hopefully ease your worries.

Then we’ll take a look at dementia and Alzheimer’s so that you understand the risks of those as well.

Underlying Health Conditions That Cause Memory Loss

There are many underlying causes of forgetfulness . 

These include both physical and mental health conditions such as:

  • bipolar disorder
  • brain diseases
  • brain injury
  • fibromyalgia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • kidney disorders
  • liver disorders
  • Lyme disease
  • multiple sclerosis
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • post-surgery
  • post-traumatic stress
  • schizophrenia
  • substance abuse
  • thyroid disorders
  • tuberculosis
  • urinary tract infections
  • West Nile virus 

Medications That Cause Memory Loss

Memory loss is an extremely common side effect of prescription drugs.

Armon B. Neel, Jr, PharmD, is a geriatric pharmacist who formerly wrote AARP’s “Ask a Pharmacist” column and penned the eye-opening exposé Are Your Prescriptions Killing You? .

He reveals in his book that prescription drug interactions may be responsible for as many as three out of four dementia cases.

This is horrifying and largely avoidable.

Cholesterol-lowering medications and sleeping pills are two of the worst offenders.

But not all medications that cause memory loss are prescription-only.

Some of the most popular over-the-counter remedies for treating allergies, colds, coughs, skin irritations, insomnia, headaches, and pain cause memory loss by blocking the formation of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter associated with memory and learning. 

Is Your Bad Memory Due to Dementia or Alzheimer’s?

If you’ve ruled out your lifestyle, prescriptions, and health conditions as the causes of your memory issues, you might be concerned that Alzheimer’s is the only explanation left.

But this is still probably not the case.

Here’s why.

Dementia vs Alzheimer’s — What’s the Difference?

There is a lot of confusion about what dementia is and how it differs from Alzheimer’s disease.

The terms are often used interchangeably even though they aren’t the same condition.

Let’s clear up the difference.

illustration showing that dementia is an umbrella term

Dementia is not a specific disease.

It’s an umbrella term used to describe a cluster of symptoms, including impairments to memory, communication, and thinking.

There are over 100 underlying health conditions that can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s is just one of them. 

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, responsible for about 60% of dementia cases . 

The remaining dementia cases are due to a wide range of medical conditions, including:  

  • neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease)
  • ischemic vascular dementia (resulting from a stroke)
  • vascular dementia (also called multi-infarct dementia)
  • infectious diseases (such as HIV)
  • drug use (both prescription and recreational)
  • head trauma
  • brain tumors
  • temporary conditions such as fever, dehydration, or a minor head injury

So you can see that there are still many non-Alzheimer’s possibilities to rule out.

Most forms of dementia are treatable and some are even reversible.

And lastly, rest assured that being diagnosed with a non-Alzheimer’s form of dementia does not necessarily mean that it will develop into Alzheimer’s later.

Now, Talk to Your Doctor About Your Memory Concerns

If you suspect your memory problem is serious, I urge you to talk to your doctor.

Insist that they look for any possible underlying health conditions and reassess your medications.

The answer could be something as simple as correcting a vision or hearing problem, addressing a nutritional deficiency, or adjusting your medications.

Make sure that you are taking the right dosage and that you aren’t exposing yourself to harmful drug interactions.

Discuss whether all the medications you take are absolutely necessary .

Investigate whether there are better ways to treat your health issues, such as practicing stress reduction techniques or changing your diet, exercise, or other lifestyle factors.

Before your appointment, download the Alzheimer’s Association’s 10-point dementia symptom checklist .

You can use this checklist as talking points to discuss with your doctor.

Also, ask your doctor whether you should take the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam, or  SAGE test , before your appointment.

It was designed at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to detect early signs of memory loss and other cognitive impairments.

You can easily take this written test at home using paper and pencil.

The results of your test can help your doctor decide whether further evaluation is needed.

It can also be used as a baseline to monitor any changes in your memory over time.

Recommended: Upgrading brain health is key to making your brain work better.

  • Improve your mental clarity and focus.
  • Boost your memory and your ability to learn.
  • Increase your capacity to think critically, solve problems, and make decisions.

P.S. Like what you've read on this page? Get more like this -- Sign up for our emails .

Home — Essay Samples — Life — Life Experiences — Childhood Memories

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Childhood Memories Essay Examples

1. childhood memories essay prompt samples.

Before we embark on this journey down memory lane, let's first understand what a childhood memories essay entails. An essay prompt typically serves as your guiding star in crafting your piece. Here are a few samples to give you an idea of what to expect:

... Read More 1. Childhood Memories Essay Prompt Samples Before we embark on this journey down memory lane, let's first understand what a childhood memories essay entails. An essay prompt typically serves as your guiding star in crafting your piece. Here are a few samples to give you an idea of what to expect: "Write an essay about a significant childhood memory that shaped your character." "Describe a vivid childhood experience that left a lasting impact on your life." "Reflect on a cherished memory from your early years and discuss its significance."

These prompts serve as the foundation for your essay. They help you identify the core theme and purpose of your narrative.

2. Brainstorming the Perfect Childhood Memories Essay Topic

Now that you have a grasp of the prompts, it's time to brainstorm and select the most fitting topic for your childhood memories essay. Consider the following points:

  • Emotional Impact: Think about memories that evoke strong emotions. These are often the most compelling stories.
  • Life Lessons: Reflect on memories that taught you valuable life lessons or shaped your perspective.
  • Vividness: Choose memories with vivid details and sensory experiences; they make your essay come alive.
  • Uniqueness: Opt for memories that stand out or have a unique twist, avoiding overly common topics.

By considering these points, you can pinpoint a memory that not only resonates with you but also captivates your readers.

3. Examples of Unique Essay Topics

Now, let's explore some unique and captivating essay topics that revolve around childhood memories. These topics are sure to stand out from the crowd:

  • "The Day I Discovered a Hidden Treasure in Grandma's Attic."
  • "A Magical Encounter with a Friendly Stray Cat: My Childhood Confidant."
  • "The Great Lemonade Stand Adventure: Lessons in Entrepreneurship."
  • "An Unexpected Journey: Getting Lost and Finding My Way Home."
  • "The Night Our Backyard Turned into an Enchanted Forest."

These topics offer a fresh perspective on childhood memories, ensuring your essay engages your audience from start to finish.

4. Crafting Inspiring Paragraphs and Phrases

To bring your childhood memories essay to life, you need to infuse it with captivating paragraphs and phrases. Here are some samples to inspire your writing:

"As I climbed up the creaky attic stairs, the dust danced in the sunlight streaming through the cracks. There, amidst forgotten relics of the past, I stumbled upon a weathered, leather-bound journal that held secrets from generations long gone." "The stray cat, with its fur as soft as memories themselves, became my confidant. We'd spend endless afternoons together, sharing secrets only a child and a feline friend could understand." "With a cardboard sign in hand and a heart full of dreams, I set up my first lemonade stand on that scorching summer day. The taste of success was as sweet as the lemonade itself." "As twilight descended, the stars emerged in our enchanted backyard. Fireflies danced, and the trees whispered secrets to my young ears, painting a canvas of wonder and magic."

Feel free to use these samples as a starting point for your own narrative. Remember, the key is to paint a vivid and emotional picture with your words.

With these insights, you're well on your way to crafting an outstanding childhood memories essay that will leave a lasting impression. Embrace the nostalgia, choose a unique topic, and let your words transport your readers back to your cherished moments of the past.

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worst memory you have essay

How writing about difficult experiences can help you take back your power

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I have a question for you. Have you ever seen something and you wish you could have said something — but you didn’t?

And I have a second question. Has something ever happened to you and you never said anything about it — but you should have?

I’m interested in this idea of action — of the difference between seeing, which is the passive act of observing, and the actual act of bearing witness.

Bearing witness means writing down something you have seen, something you have heard, something you have experienced. The most important part of bearing witness is writing it down; it’s recording. Writing it down captures the memory. Writing it down acknowledges its existence.

One of the biggest examples we have in history of someone bearing witness is Anne Frank and her diary. She simply wrote down what was happening to her family and about her confinement and, in doing so, we have a very intimate record of this family during one of the worst periods of our world’s history.

You too can use creative writing to bear witness, and I’m going to walk you through an exercise that I do with a lot of my college students, who are future engineers, technicians, plumbers — basically, they’re not creative writers. We use these exercises to unsilence things we’ve been keeping silent. It’s a way of unburdening ourselves. It’s 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Brainstorm and write it down

I give my students a prompt. The prompt is “The time when …” and I want them to fill in that prompt with times they might have experienced something, heard something or seen something and they could have said something or intervened but they didn’t. I have them write a list as quickly as possible.

I’ll give you example of some of the things I would write down:

  • the time when a few months after 9/11 and two boys dared themselves to touch me and they did
  • the time when my sister and I were walking in a city and a guy spat at us and called us terrorists
  • the time way back when I went to a very odd middle school and girls a couple of
 years older than me were often married to men nearly double their age
  • the time when a friend pulled a gun on me
  •  the time when I went to a going-away luncheon for a coworker and a big boss
 questioned my lineage for 45 minutes

There are times when I have seen something and I haven’t intervened. For example:

  • the time when I was on a train and I witnessed a father beating his toddler son and I didn’t do anything
  • the many times when I’ve walked by someone who was homeless and in need and asking me for money and I walked around them and I did not acknowledge their humanity

The list could go on and on. Think of times when something might have happened sexually, times when you’ve been keeping things repressed, and times with our families. Because our families — we love them, but at the same time we don’t talk about things. So we don’t talk about the family member who has been using drugs or abusing alcohol; we don’t talk about the family member who might have severe mental illness. We’ll say something like, “Oh they’ve always been that way,” and we hope that in not talking about it and not acknowledging it, we can act like it doesn’t exist, that it will somehow fix itself.

Your goal is to write down at least 10 things, and once you have those 10 things, you’ve actually done part one, which is to bear witness. You have unsilenced something that you have been keeping silent.

Step 2: Narrow it down and focus

What I suggest is going back to your list of 10 and picking 3 things that are really tugging at you, three things that you feel strongly about. It doesn’t have to be the most traumatic things but it’s things that are like, “Ah, I have to write about this.” I suggest you sit down at a table with a pen and paper — that’s my preferred method for recording but you can also use a tablet, an iPad, a computer, just something that lets you write.

I suggest taking 30 minutes of uninterrupted time, meaning that you turn your phone off, put it on airplane mode, no email. If you have family or if you have children, give yourself 20 minutes or 5 minutes. The goal is just to give yourself time to write.

You’re going to focus on 3 things — you’re going to focus on the details, you’re going to focus on the order of events, you’re going to focus on how it made you feel. That last one is the most important part.

I’m going to walk you through how I do it. The first thing I feel very, very strongly about is that time when a couple of months after 9/11, these two boys dared themselves to touch me. I remember I was in a rural mall in North Carolina and I was just walking, minding my business.

I felt like people walking behind me were very, very close. I was like, “OK, that’s kind of weird, let me walk a little bit faster.” They walked a little bit faster too and I heard them going back and forth —  “No, you do it” “You do it” “No, you do it.” And then one of them pushes me and I almost fall to the ground.

I popped back up, expecting some type of apology and the weirdest thing was they did not run away. They actually stood right next to me and I remember there was a guy with blond hair and he had a bright red polo shirt and he was saying “Give me my money, I did it, man”, and the guy with the brown hair who had a choppy haircut gave him a $5 bill. I remember it was crumpled, and so I’m like, “Am I still standing here? This thing just happened. What just happened?”

And it was so weird to be someone’s dare and then also not exist at all. I remembered when I was younger and someone dared me to touch something nasty or disgusting. I felt like that nasty and disgusting thing.

A second thing I feel very, very strongly about is the time when a friend pulled a gun on me (I should say former friend). I remember there was a group of us outside, he had run up, and he had the stereotypical brown paper bag in his hand. I knew what it was. I’m a very mouthy person and I started going off. I was like, “What are you doing with that gun? You’re not gonna shoot anyone. You’re a coward. You don’t even know how to use it.”

I kept going on and on and on and he got angrier and angrier and angrier and he pulled the gun out and put it in my face. I remember every one of us got very, very quiet. I remember the tightness of his face. I remember the barrel of the gun and I felt like — and I’m pretty sure everyone around me who got quiet did too — felt like this is the moment I die.

The third thing I feel very, very strongly about is this going away luncheon and this big boss. I remember I was running late and I’m always late; it’s just a thing that happens with me. The whole table was filled except for the seat next to him. I didn’t know him well; I had seen him in the office. I didn’t know why the seat was empty; I found out later on why. So I sat down at the table and before he even asked me my name, the first thing he said was “What’s going on with all of this?” and he gestured at my head. I thought, “Do I have something on my face? What’s happening?”

Then he asked me with two hands this time “What’s going on with all of this?” And I realized he’s talking about my hijab. In my head I said, “Oh, not today.” But he’s a big boss — he’s like my boss’s boss’s boss. So for 45 minutes I put up with him asking me where I was from, where were my parents from, my grandparents. He asked me where I went to school, where I did my internships, he asked me who interviewed me for that job. And for 45 minutes, I tried to be very, very, very, very, very polite, trying to answer his questions.

But I remember I was making eyeball “Help!” signs at the people around the table, like “Someone say something, intervene”. It was a rectangular table, so there were people on both sides of us and no one said anything, even people who might be in the position to do so, bosses. No one said anything. I remember I felt so alone. I remember I felt like I didn’t deserve to be in his space. I remember I wanted to quit.

So these are my three things and you’ll have your list of three things. Once you have these three things, you have the details, you have the order of events, you have how it made you feel, you’re ready to actually use creative writing to bear witness.

Step 3: Pick one and tell your story

You don’t have to write a memoir; you don’t have to be a creative writer. I know sometimes storytelling can be daunting for some people but we are human, we are natural storytellers. If someone asks “How is your day going?”, we have a beginning, a middle and an end. That is a narrative.

Our memory exists and subsists through the act of storytelling. You just have to find the form that works for you. You can write a letter to your younger self, you can write a story to your younger self, you can write a story to your five-year-old child, you can write a parody, a song, a song as parody. You can write a play, you can write a nursery rhyme, you can write it in the form of a Wikipedia article.

If it’s one of those situations where you saw something and you didn’t intervene, perhaps write it from that person’s perspective. So if I go back to the boy on the train who I saw being beaten, What was it like to be in his shoes? What was it like to see all these people who watched it happen and did nothing? Or I could put myself in the position of someone who was homeless and just try to figure out how they got there in the first place. Perhaps it would help me change some of my actions, perhaps it will help me be more proactive about certain things.

By telling your story, you’re keeping it alive so you don’t have to do anything; you don’t have to show anyone any of these steps. But even if you’re telling it to yourself, you’re saying this thing happened, this weird thing did happen. It’s not in my head. It actually happened and by doing that maybe you’ll take a little bit of power back that has been taken away.

The last thing I’m going to do is I’m going to tell you my story. The one I’ve picked is about this big boss and I picked that one because I feel like I’m not the only one who has been in a position where someone has been above me and been talked down to. I feel like all of us might have been in positions where we felt like we could not say anything because this person has our livelihood, our paychecks, our jobs in their hands and times we might have seen someone who has power talking down to someone and we should have or could have intervened.

By telling this story, I’m taking back a little bit of power that was taken away from me. I have changed the names, and it happened a decade ago. It doesn’t have any happy ending, because it’s just me writing down what happened that day.

This is how I use creative writing to bear witness.

At Lisa’s Going Away Luncheon

I want to ask my boss’s boss’s boss if he’s stupid

or just plain dumb after he takes one look at my hijab

and asks me where I’m from in Southeast Asia.

I tell him that it’s New Jersey, actually,

and he asks where are my parents from,

and my grandparents and my great-grandparents

and their parents and their parents’ parents

as if searching for some Other blood,

as if searching for some reason why some Black

Muslim girl from Newark wound up seated next to him

at this restaurant of tablecloths

and laminated menus.

I want to say “Slavery, jerk,”

but I’ve got a car note and rent and insurances

and insurances and insurances and credit

cards and credit debt and a loan and a bad tooth

and a penchant for sushi so I drop

the jerk but keep the truth.

Tell me, he says,

“Why don’t Sunnis and Shiites get along?”

“Tell me,” he says, “What’s going on in Iraq?”

“Tell me,” he says, “What’s up with Saudi and Syria

and Iran?” “Tell me,” he says, “Why do Muslims

like bombs?” I want to shove an M1 up his behind

and confetti that pasty flesh and that tailored suit.

Instead I’m sipping my unsweetened iced tea

looking around at the table, at the co-workers

around me; none of whom, not one,

looks back at me. Rather they do the most

American things they can do:

They praise their Lord. They stuff their faces

And pretend they don’t hear him.

And pretend they don’t see me.

This post was adapted from a TEDxUCincinnati Talk. Watch it here:

About the author

Sakinah Hofler is an award-winning writer and a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati in the English Program. Formerly, she worked as a chemical and quality engineer for the United States Department of Defense. She’s an advocate for infusing the arts into our daily lives.

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  • how to be a better human
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Essay on Childhood Memories

Memories are one of the most crucial things we can cherish throughout our lives. They build up our personality as all our knowledge and previous experiences are stored there. Memories can be both good and bad. There are memories either from long ago or from the recent past. In our critical times, we may get some refreshment by recalling our memories. We can run our lives smoothly with the help of these memories. Memories help us in many ways. We can rectify ourselves from past mistakes. Childhood memories are treasured by all of us. They make us smile even in our old age. 

Importance of Childhood Memory:

Childhood memories are very significant in our lives. We can recall the best times of our lives. Childhood memories build up our future and way of thinking. People with good childhood memories are happy people. On the other hand some bad childhood memories also affect the future of an individual. 

The things a person learns during childhood remain as important lessons and memories for life. It applies to things like family and society values, morals, learning the importance of friendships and being respectful to adults. Without learning proper manners, people can become reckless and take unnecessary risks in life. 

Childhood memories are also strongly related to good habits such as proper discipline and cultivating the proper attitude in life. These values, which are very important for success in adult life, cannot be learnt overnight at a later stage. 

A childhood memory definitely does not define anyone but they play a pivotal role in one’s life. It is not necessary that a person with good memories always lives a prosperous life while a person with bad memories always lives a hazardous life. Sometimes, ghastly childhood memories make a man stronger. 

Nevertheless, it can be said that the inner child is kept alive by childhood memories. There is always a child inside every person. It may come out all of a sudden at any stage in life. It may also be expressed every day in the little things that we enjoy doing. 

Our inner child is especially seen when we meet our  childhood friends. Regardless of how grown up we think we are, we go back to kids the moment we are with old friends. Memories also take up the bulk of our conversation when we meet old friends after many years. The trip down memory lane is bittersweet as we long for a time we will not get back but also cherish its joy. 

Some may be excited about seeing swings, some may act like a child when they see panipuri. The reason behind the facts is we are reminded by our childhood memories every time. The same happens when we enter the children’s play park and are reminded of our favourite rides. It is even more so when we ate ice cream or our favourite ice candy when we were 5 years old.  Hence, childhood memories play a very vital role in our lives. 

My Childhood Memories:

I was born and brought up in a very adorable family. I have grown up with my elder brother with whom I used to play a lot. I remember each and every game we used to play together. Every moment is very precious to me. In the afternoon, we used to play cricket in our nearby ground. The memories of playing in the ground together are mesmerising. 

Another beautiful thing I can remember is flying kites. It used to be one of the most exciting things of my childhood. Even the older members of the family participated with us. We used to fly kites on our terrace. The kite-flying programme would last for the entire day.

Another beautiful thing I can remember is my visit to the zoo with my family. We made one zoo visit every year. They used to be those very simple yet fun-filled family picnic moments. We would carry packed food from home that my mother used to cook. My elder brother would click several photographs of us. When I look at those pictures now, the memories come alive. Today, so many things have changed but my childhood memories are still fresh in my heart. It feels so refreshing to relive them again and again. My childhood memories are very close to my heart and make me smile on my difficult days.

Perhaps the time I remember very fondly was going to swimming classes. I have always loved playing in the water, and swimming in clear pools was always an exciting activity. Even though I loved the water, at first I could not swim as I was not aware of the basics of the sport. Slowly, as I learnt to kick and paddle, it became easier to swim in shallow water. The big test was swimming in deep water as it was a terrifying thought and simultaneously exciting. I still remember the day I decided to let go of my fears and dived into the deep end of the pool. The instant I jumped into the water, the fear was gone, and I swam like a fish to the other end of the pool. That day also taught me a valuable lesson about taking the first step in any daunting task. 

Conclusion: 

We should all cherish our childhood memories as they can always be our companion, our “bliss of solitude.” Simple things hold grave meaning when they are from their childhood days. The days were free of complexities and full of innocence. Hence, they are so close to heart.

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FAQs on Childhood Memories Essay

1. How to write a childhood memory essay?

The most important thing you will need to write this essay is about great childhood memories! You will have to look back in time and remember all the good and bad things that happened to you. As you get older, your memories will also change in their context as you change as a person. Like all essays, this should also have a steady narrative of the events from your childhood. You can choose to write only about the best memories you have or choose to write them as they occur. Some of the best things to write are topics such as your friends, your favourite games, and all the vacations you have been on and all the experiences you had in school.

2. How would you describe your childhood memories?

The older you get, the more the bits and pieces of your memory begin to fade or change. The best way to write about your childhood memories is to close your eyes and remember them. Then you have to start writing the events as they occurred without giving them context. Once the essay is written, the stories and events can be arranged as per the requirements of the essay. You can choose to describe your memories in any light you feel.

3. Why are childhood memories important?

Our childhood memories have a significant influence on who we are. People with mostly happy memories tend to be more relaxed with a positive outlook on life. People who have had traumatic memories tend to be more cautious and cynical in life. People can still change with positive or negative experiences in life. However, our childhood influences stay with us for the rest of our lives and can sometimes even come into conflict with the better choices we want to make. Therefore having childhood memories is a good reference to understanding ourselves and why we behave in certain ways.

4. What could be a common childhood memory for everyone?

Everybody remembers their “first-time” experiences in life. It could be things like the first day of school, the first time visiting a zoo, the first time taking a flight in an aeroplane, having a bad experience, etc.

Best Childhood Memories Essay Ideas: 94 Narrative Topics [2024]

Many people believe that childhood is the happiest period in a person’s life. It’s not hard to see why. Kids have nothing to care or worry about, have almost no duties or problems, and can hang out with their friends all day long.

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

An essay about childhood gives an opportunity to plunge into your memories. All you need to do is recollect those happy days and write a brilliant essay! In this article by Custom-Writing.org , you’ll find great tips and topic ideas to kickstart the process.

  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics
  • 💡 Coming Up with Ideas
  • 🧸 Childhood Memories Essay Topics
  • ✍️ Writing Examples & Guide
  • 🔍 References

🔝 Top 10 Childhood Topics to Write About

  • Your favorite holiday memory.
  • Your brightest memories of winter.
  • Your earliest school memory.
  • Your first visit to a farm.
  • What was your favorite toy?
  • Do you remember your granny’s kitchen?
  • Your childhood memories of your parents.
  • Your best childhood friend.
  • Things that you initially disliked at school.
  • Experiments with physics in childhood.

💡 Coming Up with Childhood Memories Essay Ideas

Perhaps you got lost in your memories and cannot choose the best one to describe in your essay. Or maybe you have a bad memory and cannot recollect something specific to write about. If that’s the case, here are some recommendations for you.

Childhood Memories List: How to Write

Don’t know where to start? Try creating a list of your memories to decide which ones you need for your paper.

The picture shows examples of  what to include in a childhood memories essay.

There are our top tips on making a childhood memories list:

  • Write down everything that comes to your mind. What are some significant memories from your childhood? Every little experience starting with your earliest memory matters. Of course, you don’t need all of this information for your essay. Still, it will help your brain to start working in the right direction.
  • Try to focus on specific things such as holidays, trips, or food. Everybody’s favorite childhood memories are often connected with them. Remarkable events also might include school, neighborhood, hometown, presents you received, and your achievements. Nostalgia is your best friend in this case.
  • Divide your memories into categories. Good childhood experiences such as receiving a dream present or adopting a pet belong to one category. Life-changing events, key achievements, and unfortunate accidents can go into other categories.
  • Try not to avoid bad childhood memories. It’s not the most pleasant thing in this task. But sometimes, writing about bad situations or challenges is a good strategic decision for your paper. It can also help your personal growth.

How to Remember Childhood Memories

What is your earliest memory? A frightening fall down the stairs? Or perhaps blowing candles on your second birthday? Whatever the content, it is probably short and vague.

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When we grow older, our recollections of early childhood become fragmentary . In fact, a profound memory loss occurs, which psychologists call infantile amnesia (you can learn more about it from the article “ New perspectives on childhood memory ”). Memories formed during early childhood are more fragile than those formed later in life.

That’s why it’s a great idea to write down our childhood recollections. This way, they’ll stay with us even after they lose their rich vividness and start to fade altogether.

Naturally, you can’t keep everything in your head. Some childhood memories will stay with you forever, while others vanish during your teenage years. Remembering something you have forgotten is not an easy task.

Here’s a way out: use this checklist to recall your childhood experiences:

Feeling completely out of ideas? Or maybe you can’t think of a specific topic? Keep reading to learn how to generate new ideas and write a great childhood memories essay.

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🧸 Childhood Memory Essays Topics List

Favorite childhood memory ideas.

  • Meeting Santa at a mall
  • A gift you’ve created yourself
  • First time you stayed up all night
  • Your first visit to an amusement park
  • Your favorite children’s book or comic
  • Your best childhood camping memory
  • The craziest fact you’ve learned as a child
  • Memory about winning a school competition
  • What was the most fun school assignment?
  • Your favorite food at the elementary school cafeteria

Early Childhood Memories Essay Topics

Kindergarten is often the place where kids start socializing for the first time. Think about your experiences with friends and teachers, as well as with your family. These topic ideas will help you get on the right track:

  • The first day in kindergarten . Kindergarten is a new world for a child. It has an unfamiliar environment, new people, and rules. This essay can aim at discussing feelings and expectations that accompany a child on their first day.
  • Describe the first pet you had in early childhood. Almost all families have a pet that they love. Often pets are given to children as presents. This essay can relate the best moments spent with a pet when you were little.
  • A relative who was closest to you in early childhood. Every child has a family member with whom they enjoy spending time. It could easily be a parent, a grandparent, a sibling , or perhaps an uncle. Write about exciting moments related to your beloved relatives.
  • Your first childhood hobby . Most people had hobbies when they were kids. This initial interest sometimes determines one’s future occupation. Here, you can describe the activities you used to do as a little child. Focus on the events associated with your first hobby .
  • Festive events in kindergarten . During the whole year, people celebrate many holidays. Naturally, kindergartens hold festive events to amuse children. This essay can portray the unforgettable celebrations in kindergarten .
  • Describe family gatherings from your childhood.
  • A typical day in your kindergarten.
  • What’s the first birthday celebration you remember?
  • Activities or games in kindergarten .
  • Your first Halloween costume.
  • Things that you didn’t like in kindergarten.
  • Write about your relationship with nature in early childhood.
  • Describe a performance you took part in when you were little.
  • What was the best teacher in your kindergarten like?
  • Discuss the book or story you loved the most in early childhood.

Elementary School Memories Essay Topics

Would you like to look back at your elementary school days? This section is just what you need. Check out these ideas and get inspired:

  • How you met your first teacher. Teachers lead children through a complicated yet exciting path. That’s why we all remember our teachers, especially the first day of meeting them. This essay can recount the brightest moments associated with this event. Additionally, you might describe the teacher’s appearance and personality .
  • The most challenging lesson in elementary school . You can probably recall numerous lessons from your school years. This essay can aim at describing positive and negatives aspects of studies, as well as your favorite classes.
  • Memories about extracurricular activities in school. It could be sports, artistic pursuits, or activities related to specific subjects. Describe your personal preferences and say who inspired you to start doing them.
  • Celebration events at school. Celebrations create the brightest and most joyful memories. In this essay, you can share personal experiences about such events, be it school performances, shows, or games.
  • Who was your best school teacher ? Describe the personalities of your favorite teachers and explain why you liked them.
  • Write about a person who helped with school lessons .
  • What did your first school building look like?
  • Describe what you daydreamed about in school.
  • Wonderful hikes or trips organized by the school.
  • What were your plans for the future growing up?
  • Write about going to a museum with your class.
  • Memories of participation in school sports activities.
  • Recall your participation in writing for a school newspaper .
  • Did you take part in any important school activities or events?

Happy Childhood Memories Essay Topics

When writing about your childhood, you’d probably prefer recalling happy events rather than sad ones. But what if you don’t know which pleasant memory to choose? This list will help you make up your mind!

  • The best birthday party ever. Recall the most exciting details associated with it. For example, describe some beautiful presents and a celebratory atmosphere.
  • The day you’ve met your first love . Write about the impressions, feelings, and the most treasured memories associated with that day.
  • Recall the best day spent with your childhood friend. Recount the activities and events that made you happy.
  • The most significant achievement in childhood. Recall your achievements connected with the studies, sports, or arts. You can start by describing the task you’ve had, explain its importance, and thank the people who helped you.
  • The day you made somebody happy . This essay can describe the instances where you helped others. What were your motivations, and why did it make you happy?
  • Describe the best school gathering you can remember. Schools often organize parties where students can have fun. This essay can recount the circumstances and special moments related to such a party.
  • Recall a fictional character you liked the most in childhood.
  • Write about the best present you gave to someone when you were little.
  • Describe the best surprise made by friends or relatives in childhood.
  • The most wonderful journey or trip in childhood.
  • A sad event that changed things for the better.
  • What were the happiest summer holidays in your childhood like?
  • Chronicle the day when your childhood dream came true.
  • Write about your childhood fear and how you overcame it.
  • Tell about getting a good grade for an important assignment.
  • Describe the first home where your family lived.

Funny Childhood Memories Essay Ideas

Writing about a funny event is perhaps the best option you can choose. You’ll enjoy describing it, and your readers will appreciate you for making them laugh! Here are some prompts to kickstart the creative process.

  • Recollect your childhood actions that make your relatives laugh. Children often behave in interesting, comical, and amusing ways. This essay can detail some fun moments that your parents remember.
  • Amusing and funny moments in your favorite cartoons . You probably remember many great cartoons from your childhood. What made them funny? Do you still find them entertaining?
  • The funniest pranks you did at school. If you were a mischievous child, this topic is for you. Recall various funny, elaborate, or even failed pranks you did at school.
  • Describe the first time you rode a bicycle . Learning to ride a bike is a staple of many childhoods. It’s challenging, but once you master it, you will never forget how to ride it!
  • What tricks used to help you pass difficult exams ? Usually, students make cribs or copy someone else’s answers. You can describe more creative ways of passing exams.
  • Poking fun at younger siblings . If you have brothers and sisters, you probably tease each other. How do you feel about such activities? Do you both have a good laugh, or did somebody get upset?
  • Playing superheroes in childhood. Many children have favorite superheroes such as Batman , Spiderman, Ironman, and others. What were your personal favorites? Did you try to imagine you have superpowers?
  • Describe the most ridiculous haircut you’ve had when you were little.
  • Funny moments with your school teachers.
  • Did you have an imaginary friend? What were they like?
  • Trying to cook in childhood.
  • What tricks did you use to hide bad marks from your parents?
  • Attempts to renovate your childhood room.

Childhood Christmas Memories Topics

Christmas is the favorite holiday of many children. Were you one of them? Choose your essay title from this list on Christmas memories:

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

  • What is the best Christmas present from your childhood? Describe the present, the wrapping, and your emotions related to it. Why did you want it so much? You can also try to remember where this present is now.
  • Describe a family Christmas trip that you enjoyed the most as a child. Answer the following questions. What were the new places you have seen? What were the new people you met? How much time did you spend there? Did you feel homesick? What did you feel when you returned home?
  • What was your favorite pastime during the Christmas holidays in childhood? For example, you can write about watching cartoons or playing with your siblings. Or maybe you enjoyed winter sports and walking with your friends.
  • Was Christmas your favorite holiday in childhood? Explain why or why not. Create a list of the things that you did and didn’t enjoy. You can also compare Christmas with other holidays. Find several arguments to defend your opinion.
  • Describe the best Christmas present you gave somebody in childhood . It can be something you made yourself or bought. Explain why you chose this gift and what was the recipient’s reaction. What did you want to show with this present? Was it your idea to give it? How did you choose it? Answer these questions in your essay.
  • What are your favorite Christmas memories ? You have a wide choice here. You can describe family get-togethers, receiving or giving presents, eating sweets, or having fun while resting from school.
  • Describe your favorite childhood Christmas photo . Explain why it is so valuable to you. Define the people or objects in the picture. Try to remember who took it and what camera was they used. Also, provide some information about the time and place.
  • Write about your family’s Christmas traditions .
  • Describe your favorite Christmas decorations in childhood.
  • When was the time you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
  • What was your favorite Christmas movie in childhood?
  • Write about the Christmas dishes did you enjoy the most as a child.
  • What was your favorite Christmas TV special ?
  • What were your favorite Christmas songs when you were little?
  • Describe the perfect Christmas Eve of your childhood.
  • Tell about the friends you liked to invite to your Christmas parties.

These recollections can form a great foundation for your essay. Because childhood is often the best time in a person’s life, writing essays on your childhood experiences can be a real pleasure. If you try to be creative and choose a unique topic, you are sure to succeed in writing an impressive essay.

✍️ “My Childhood Memories” Essay Writing Guide

Writing about your childhood is an exciting assignment that has some peculiarities. Let’s explore some of them.

Childhood Memories Essay: Dos and Don’ts

Your main task is to make the reader feel like they’ve experienced the memory you described. There are certain elements that you can include in your essay to make it stand out. Similarly, some things are better to avoid.

Keep these things in mind, and you will surely write a perfect composition.

Childhood Memories Essay: Step by Step

Follow these steps of the essay writing process, and you will see that writing a good essay on your childhood memories is not as challenging as it may seem.

The picture shows the main steps in writing a childhood memories essay.

Narrative Essay on Childhood Memories: Outline

Every essay must have a proper structure. That’s why it’s useful to make a short outline before you start writing. It will keep you from losing your way as you write your essay. It also saves you time! If you have a plan, you won’t miss any important points in your essay.

Your paper should include:

After you’ve finished writing, revise and edit your essay . Make sure your paragraphs are written in a logical order. Read your essay aloud so that you can see how it flows and determine where you need to improve it.

Try our memory-activating prompts and follow these writing tips to compose your perfect childhood memories essay! If you’re not sure that you can write a good paper on your own, you can always ask our experts to help you out.

Further reading:

  • School Days Essay: How to Describe a Memorable Event
  • Growing Up Essay: Great Ideas for Your College Assignment
  • Writing Essay about Someone Who has Made an Impact on Your Life
  • Excellent Remembering a Person Essay: Free Writing Guidelines
  • Life Experience Essay: How to Write a Brilliant Paper

🔗 References

  • The Fate of Childhood Memories: Children Postdated Their Earliest Memories as They Grew Older
  • Can You Trust Your Earliest Childhood Memories?: BBC
  • How to Start Writing Your Own Childhood Memories for Posterity: HobbyLark
  • 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing: The New York Times
  • Bright Side Readers Shared 14 Childhood Stories and We Plunged Into Their Memories Together: Brightside
  • Great Questions: StoryCorps
  • Introductions and Conclusions: University of Toronto
  • Make a List: Childhood Memories: Practical Parenting
  • Tips to Retrieve Old Memories: Harvard University
  • Make the Most of Your Memory: 10 Tips for Writing About Your Life: Writer’s Digest
  • Childhood Christmas Memories: DNA Explained
  • What Do Your Earliest Childhood Memories Say about You?: The Conversation
  • Can’t Remember Your Childhood? What Might Be Going On: Healthline
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Childhood Memories Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on childhood memories.

Memories are a vital component of our bodies. They shape our personality as all our knowledge and past experiences are stored there. All of us have memories, both good and bad. You have memories from long ago and also from recent times. Furthermore, some memories help us get by tough days and make us cheerful on good days.

Childhood Memories Essay

Memories are the little things which help in running our lives smoothly. In other words, memories are irreplaceable and they are very dear to us. They help us learn from our mistakes and make us better. In my opinion, one’s childhood memories are the dearest to anyone. They help in keeping the child in you alive. Moreover, it also is a reason for our smiles in between adult life.

Importance of Childhood Memories

Childhood memories are very important in our lives. It makes us remember the best times of our lives. They shape our thinking and future. When one has good childhood memories, they grow up to be happy individuals. However, if one has traumatic childhood memories, it affects their adult life gravely.

Thus, we see how childhood memories shape our future. They do not necessarily define us but they surely play a great role. It is not important that someone with traumatic childhood memories may turn out to be not well. People get past their traumatic experiences and grow as human beings. But, these memories play a great role in this process as well.

Most importantly, childhood memories keep the inner child alive. No matter how old we get, there is always a child within each one of us. He/She comes out at different times.

For instance, some may act like a child on seeing swings; the other may get excited like a child when they see ice cream. All this happens so because we have our childhood memories reminding us of the times associated with the things we get excited about. Therefore, childhood memories play a great role in our lives.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

My Childhood Memories

Growing up, I had a very loving family. I had three siblings with whom I used to play a lot. I remember very fondly the games we use to play. Especially, in the evenings, we used to go out in the park with our sports equipment. Each day we played different games, for example, football on one day and cricket on the other. These memories of playing in the park are very dear to me.

Furthermore, I remember clearly the aroma of my grandmother’s pickles. I used to help her whenever she made pickles. We used to watch her do the magic of combining the oils and spices to make delicious pickles. Even today, I can sometimes smell her pickles whenever I look back at this memory.

Most importantly, I remember this instance very clearly when we went out for a picnic with my family. We paid a visit to the zoo and had an incredible day. My mother packed delectable dishes which we ate in the zoo. My father clicked so many pictures that day. When I look at these pictures, the memory is so clear, it seems like it happened just yesterday. Thus, my childhood memories are very dear to me and make me smile when I feel low.

Q.1 Why is Childhood Memories important?

A.1 Childhood memories shape our personality and future. They remind us of the good times and help us get by on tough days. Moreover, they remind us of past experiences and mistakes which help us improve ourselves.

Q.2 What can be a common childhood memory for all?

A.2 In my opinion, a childhood memory most of us have in common is the first day of school. Most of us remember what we felt like on the first day. In addition, our birthdays are also very common childhood memory that reminds us of gifts and celebrations on that day.

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Childhood Memories Essay

Recalling childhood memories lead us to experience the feelings of our old days. These childhood memories are such that they last forever. Some memories help us to recall the pleasant moments of our life. But, some of the memories scare us because we have both good and bad experiences in our childhood. These childhood memories help us to go through the tough days of our lives in a happy and cheerful manner. They give strength to overcome difficult situations and fight against them. This essay on childhood memories will help students to write an effective essay. After going through this article, they can describe their childhood memories in a better way. For more CBSE essays , students must practise essay writing on different topics.

500+ Words Essay on Childhood Memories

We all remember our childhood friends, interesting incidents relating to them, our family members, relatives, and so many other things. Childhood is a lovely time that everyone remembers. It is the period that everyone cherishes as this builds our foundation when we are growing. In our childhood, we were carefree and innocent. We don’t know what jealousy is and have no complexes regarding ourselves and others. It was time for play, studies and vacations. We were gorging on our favourite food without any restrictions, playing pranks on our siblings, and supporting our siblings when we had to face the wrath of our parents. Those days won’t come back, but we can remember those childhood memories.

My Childhood Memories

I have a lot of childhood memories. Here, I will be sharing the one which is the most memorable to me. In my childhood, we used to go to my grandparents’ house at least once a year. We mostly visit my grandparents’ house during my school summer vacation. My grandparents live in a small village which is located near Kanpur city in Uttar Pradesh. I wake up early in the morning and go to the farmhouse. Near the farmhouse, we have farming land, where various crops are grown. By that time in the summer, the crops are ready to harvest. I love to see the harvesting process. In the farmhouse, I get prepared by taking a bath in the running water of the tubewell. I love that moment. The cold water and fresh air refresh my mind, and it starts my day full of positive energy.

My grandmother cooks the food in the traditional style by using the “Chulha”, a U-shaped mud stove made from local clay. I love the taste of cooked food. It’s so delicious and yummy. Also, during summer, my grandmother made papad, pickles of mango and green chilli. I just love eating them. We also have one cow and two buffaloes in the farmhouse. Due to this, there is a lot of milk and curd available in my house. It’s my duty to make Lassi, and we drink it every day after having lunch. At night, we sleep on the terrace to feel cool during summer. All my cousins gather at the terrace, and we enjoy it together. Everyone drinks a glass of milk before going to sleep.

Another naughty incident that I remember from my childhood was when I was studying at LKG. My parents had gone for a walk after having dinner at night. They informed me that they would be coming back soon, so I should not lock the door from the inside. I was watching the TV and said ok. After some time, I went to the kitchen to have a glass of water, and I locked the main door. I didn’t realise when I slept while watching the TV. My parents came, and they kept knocking on the door. I didn’t get up, and they had to be outside the home for the whole night. They went to the neighbours’ house and stayed there. In the morning, when I got up, I opened the door and called my parents.

Childhood is the best part of everyone’s life. Childhood memories give us different kinds of experiences. Whatever we have learned in our childhood lasts for a long time. Some experiences are joyful, while some help us learn lessons. These lessons give us the strength to stay positive in life even when situations are not in our favour.

Students must have found this essay on “Childhood Memories” useful for improving their essay writing skills. They can get the study material and the latest update on CBSE/ICSE/State Board/Competitive Exams at BYJU’S.

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  1. My Worst Childhood Memory

    My Worst Childhood Memory. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. For most people, their worst childhood memories are of playground scuffles or getting in trouble. Not for me though, my earliest memories are of me finding out about my dad ...

  2. Bad Memories Essays at WritingBros

    One possible approach for an essay on bad memories is to explore the impact that they can have on our mental health and wellbeing. From anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bad memories can be a contributing factor to a range of mental health issues. You could discuss the different ways in which bad memories can ...

  3. Advanced Essay: A bad Memory

    A Bad Memory. In hopes of gaining more knowledge you try to understand a variety of things and why they matter to you especially. You try to understand why there are memories you put an effort in forgetting and decisions you wish you could erase. You dab at making sense of things that have always been complicated in your eyes.

  4. Writing about Our Worst Experiences: Reshaping Memories

    Pieces of Light. At our recent MFA residency, I gave a workshop on writing about your worst experience, using a number of examples to illustrate how writers confront personal crises like madness, divorce, stillbirth, and the death of an adult child. To emphasize the role of craft in the nature of the telling, I chose two examples for each ...

  5. An Unforgettable Experience in My Life

    In every individual's life, there is an unforgettable experience to write an essay on. Whether it is positive or negative, it may vary on the situation, but it is something that will be remembered forever. In particular, an event I will never forget is the day that my grandfather passed away. I vividly remember the emotions I felt and the ...

  6. Why Your Memory Is Bad and What to Do About It

    EMF Exposure. Many young adults sleep with their mobile phones by their side, exposing their brains to potentially damaging electromagnetic fields (EMFs) 24/7. EMF exposure can cause significant disruption in levels of brain chemicals, negatively impacting memory, learning, emotions, and stress levels.

  7. Personal Narrative Essay: My Worst Childhood Memories

    Narrative Essay On Childhood Trauma. The one thing I remember vividly from my childhood are the holes. During what was supposed to be a safe and restful naptime I dug into the wall with my tiny bare index finger. Over some unknown time period, those mysterious diggings developed into a fair likeness of the solar system.

  8. Childhood Memories Essays

    Uniqueness: Opt for memories that stand out or have a unique twist, avoiding overly common topics. By considering these points, you can pinpoint a memory that not only resonates with you but also captivates your readers. 3. Examples of Unique Essay Topics. Now, let's explore some unique and captivating essay topics that revolve around childhood ...

  9. How writing about difficult experiences can help you take back your power

    Step 2: Narrow it down and focus. What I suggest is going back to your list of 10 and picking 3 things that are really tugging at you, three things that you feel strongly about. It doesn't have to be the most traumatic things but it's things that are like, "Ah, I have to write about this.".

  10. Childhood Memories Essay

    Essay on Childhood Memories. Memories are one of the most crucial things we can cherish throughout our lives. They build up our personality as all our knowledge and previous experiences are stored there. Memories can be both good and bad. There are memories either from long ago or from the recent past. In our critical times, we may get some ...

  11. Essay On Memories And Bad Memories

    Essay On Memories And Bad Memories. 843 Words4 Pages. Are good and bad memories a burden? Memories, either good or bad, can still be a burden. A burden is a load, a heavy one in fact, memories can weigh down people in many different ways. In everyone 's life there are memories, these memories control their decisions and how they act.

  12. Essays About Childhood Memories: Top 5 Examples

    Reflecting on the memory, she also explains how water has helped her become more satisfied, peaceful, and happy. Our childhood memories shape us and provide us with the basis for the rest of our lives. 4. I Would Have Liked Childhood More Without the Pressure to Grow Up by Jane Coaston.

  13. Best Childhood Memories Essay Ideas: 94 Narrative Topics [2024]

    Kindergarten is a new world for a child. It has an unfamiliar environment, new people, and rules. This essay can aim at discussing feelings and expectations that accompany a child on their first day. Describe the first pet you had in early childhood. Almost all families have a pet that they love.

  14. Childhood Memories Essay for Students and Children

    500+ Words Essay on Childhood Memories. Memories are a vital component of our bodies. They shape our personality as all our knowledge and past experiences are stored there. All of us have memories, both good and bad. You have memories from long ago and also from recent times.

  15. Essay About Childhood Memories

    Essay About Childhood Memories. 749 Words3 Pages. MY BEST AND WORST CHILDHOOD MEMORY A very good morning to the teacher and fellow friends. I feel honored to be given this golden opportunity to deliver a speech regarding to my childhood's memories. The purpose of I choosing this topic is everyone have their own childhood memory and everyone ...

  16. Essay on Childhood Memories in 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 Words

    10 Lines Essay on Childhood Memories. 1. We all have lots of beautiful memories from our childhood that make us extremely happy. 2. This memory recalls are priceless and everyone loves to talk about them. 3. I have some exciting memories of my own childhood. 4.

  17. Narrative Essay of a Childhood Memory

    1. This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples. Cite This Essay. Download. The sunny skies of Panama City Beach, Florida, represent beautiful memories in my life. I go to this off-white beach at least five to six times during the year.

  18. Childhood Memories Essay

    500+ Words Essay on Childhood Memories is provided here. Go through it and write your own childhood memories in a better way so as to score high marks in the writing section.

  19. My worst memory

    My worst memory. GCSE English. My worst memory. I remember my first proper relationship. This was with a girl called Michelle. She is the same age as myself. Michelle was from Hillingdon, and a long-term member of high society. I felt out of place whenever I went out to dinner with her family. I first met her through my friend Scott, in January ...

  20. My worst childhood memory Free Essays

    My Childhood Memory "I went through my childhood with more sad memories than happy ones. I sometimes wish that I could feel the other way around. Unfortunately‚ the dramatic and sad experiences stand out more in my memory bank. Among my childhood memories I remember the experience of my father helping me on my math problems when I was nine years old the most. . That experience has effected ...

  21. Worst Memory

    Worst Memory. 1124 Words3 Pages. The worst day of my life was the day my uncle Mark was killed. To this day I am able to recite the day as if it was yesterday. I can still remember my last words to him, "Uncle Mark I am going to kick your ass this winter. Your Arctic Cat sucks.". Snowmobiles were our thing, I have always had a Polaris, but ...

  22. Reshaping Remembrance. Critical Essays on Afrikaans Places of Memory

    The end of white rule and the advent of democracy in 1994 have represented a decisive watershed in the history of Afrikanerdom. As can be expected, reactions have been divided on the new dispensation, yet one can say that the overall tone has generally been rather subdued. As I have argued elsewhere, this is "a whiteness disgraced".