A few years ago, my mother gave me a folder she had kept since I was in first grade. This folder contained a huge number of art projects, homework assignments, and stories I had written during my elementary school years. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.
Admittedly, looking over the work you did as a first-grader is something you can only do if you’re able to laugh at yourself a little bit. However, the trip down Memory Lane is amazing – it’s a chance to look at myself when I had a lot of enthusiasm but no polish.
My favorite inclusions in the folder were three “books” I had written. As somebody who has now published multiple novels, they serve as a good reminder that I always had an interest in telling stories. My style has changed and (luckily) improved over the years, but it’s always good to know where I began.
If you’ve got kids in school, I highly recommend saving the projects they bring home. They might serve as nothing but clutter for decades, but someday your kids will enjoy them. If you want to feel young again, looking at your childhood is a great way to do it.