Ever since I was born, my mother has told me stories about how life in the Soviet Union was different than my life in the United States, especially my education. In the United States, I have many choices in how I pursue my education, but in the Soviet Union you were supposed to be a part of a particular political youth organization, with failure to join resulting in being ostracized. For my object, I chose my mother’s membership card of this political youth organization called “The Komsomol.” The Komsomol was the final stage of three youth organizations in the Soviet Union. The first stage was called the Young Octobrists, which my mother was a member of until 9 years old. The second stage deemed her a Young Pioneer until she was 14 years old. My mother could then be a member of the Komsomol until she was 28 years old. When my mother immigrated to the United States, she took her membership card with her to remind her of what she had been a part of her entire childhood. The Komsomol represented the mentality of a good Soviet citizen, and is interesting in that it offers insight to the differences between being raised in the Soviet Union and the United States.
– Nicholas Pustilnik