When I Look in the Mirror

November 6, 2011
By , Stamford, CT
When I used to look in the mirror, besides seeing my own reflection, I would see a girl who was not content with herself. For most of her life, being alone was normal to her. Her mom barely had time for her and her dad was always here and there. She loved being in school though. At school, she felt at home because there were always people there she could talk to.

As I looked in the mirror, I could see the obstacles she went through. In middle school, she was diagnosed with a learning disability. She feared not living up to what everyone expected her to become: bright and intelligent. She was taken out of regular classes and put into Special Ed. Everything was unfamiliar to her. But, as days went by, she started to adjust and show improvement. Later, with good grades, she was taken out of Special Ed for good.

Entering high school she felt blithe and was often seen smiling. She was on the path of finding herself. She explored different fields such as drama, music and art. Things turned out great for her.

But then I looked in the mirror and I noticed how weak she had become. Not getting love and support from home changed everything. Her sophomore and junior years were riddled with stress and frustration which resulted in poor achievement. Experiencing a multitude of failures, she developed low self-esteem. She became withdrawn at school. She gave up on life and herself.

Fortunately however, when I see this girl entering her last year of high school, I see a different person being revealed. She decided to join an after school program called "Future 5," a place where she was able to interact with coaches and go through the preparations for college. Attending a few sessions made her realize how much she needed to step up her performance in school. Giving up was no longer an option. She decided to make a change.

She strived for excellence in her classes. She saw challenges as detours rather than a roadblocks. Outside of school, she found new perspectives by reaching out to others and doing community service. Future 5 revitalized her. With the new support she had, she felt encouraged, saying to herself, "You can do this!" From there on, she has been more motivated than ever before.

Through this roller coaster ride, she learned that it is okay to be different. It's just not easy to fight through adversity alone. But the caring people at Future 5 helped her to connect and cope. Seeing how much this girl grew makes me realize how much we are alike. When I look in the mirror, I see this girl, I recognize this girl, I am this girl and she is me.





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