Curious about the world, a deep thinker, yet reserved and insecure…grabbing at my mother’s dress hem provided me with Essay

Curious about the world, a deep thinker, yet reserved and insecure…grabbing at my
mother’s dress hem provided me with the security I needed. Words of discernment given to my
parents about changing me felt uneasy. Was there something wrong with me?
My inner world allowed me confidence when alone, and the imposed structure at home
kept me in line. My parents have always set fine examples and held me to high standards. “Do
your homework, put that where it belongs, clean your room, and redo the project” were constant
reminders of the need to stay on top of my game. My elementary school teachers consistently
praised me for my good manners, academic achievements, organizational skills, and excellent
behavior. I enjoyed the kudos, yet I resented the structure that won me the praise underneath
my quiet demeanor.
As I grew, I seriously questioned the need for structure. Imposed requirements depleted
me of satisfaction and motivation. I functioned on “automatic mode.” Teachers labeled me as
shy and somewhat disengaged, but given that I never displayed any discipline problems, they
didn’t press the issue. Truthfully, I was suffocating within, wanted to be taken by the hand, and
taught without the need for intense structure. I wanted playtime and play dates, yet they had to
be with friends that displayed impeccable behavior and at prearranged times. Routines were
causing me to retrieve deeper; the constant pressure to meet expectations forced further
seclusion. The stress I felt aided in developing insecurities and social awkwardness. While
many interpreted my shyness as a character trait, I knew otherwise. Simply put, I was struggling
to find a way to express my true self.
I hesitated when taking risks, and because of my lack of decision-making, the adults
around me were always very suggestive. “Become a doctor,” they said, “it’s the most direct way
to reach financial security, gain prestige, and acquire desired recognition.” What happened to
what I wanted? I am a Lego lover,passionate about putting things together and problem-solving!
I felt stuck, and I refused to continue being jailed by the controls and expectations imposed by
My teenage years brought rebellion. I was fed up with the pressure and stopped caring. I
wanted to come to conclusions, find my passions, and have my own experiences. I stopped
focusing on academics and instead focused on finding meaningful friendships and discovering
new interests. I took my first digital literacy class, learned to play the saxophone, and began to
work out. As imagined, my parents were dumbfounded; it took them time to accept that I could
make wise choices on my own. Once I was given the space, my social skills and self-esteem
progressed, allowing me to break out of my shell and away from the labels applied by others.
Tensions were palpable as I fought to find my place. My rebellious attitude lasted until
the end of quarantine. At the start of 11th grade, I accepted that I had taken my newfound
independence a bit too far. My relaxed effort toward academics had to stop if I intended to get
somewhere in life. Suddenly, the organized structure ingrained in me made sense, and I began
my internal search for meaning. It took time to implement structure into my days again and put
procrastination aside. I started to enjoy academics once again. I also looked to my parents for
advice. With great confidence, I now look forward to exploring the world as I further my
education and make a difference in the community.