I think most people kindly remember Anton Yelchin as “the upcoming actor“ who starred in the most recent Star Trek movies but my remembrance of him is a little more nuanced. Yelchin also, due to his age, starred in a slew of small budget independent “teen” movies that exactly coincided with my own teenage experience. Sometimes actors have the ability to resonate with your personal experiences and I found that Anton Yelchin’s characters in these films helped shape some of who I am today. From his character in Middle of Nowhere I learned that an inability to fully interact with others doesn’t necessarily prevent you from having friends. By watching Like Crazy I was warned that my “first love” would not last forever- but the mark it left might. His roles in Charlie Bartlett and Fierce People reminded me that most parents suck, not just mine, and all teenagers are bored. He continued, time and time again, to display microcosms of the experiences I was living and ways to deal with them throughout his entire career. I thank Anton Yelchin for helping me grow up, and acting in roles that reminded my experiences were just part of being a teen. His life was taken too soon, but his mark on my life will be everlasting, may he Rest in Peace.

-Isabella Ballew