All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
I’m the strongest girl, but also the weakest one.
My name is Riley, a 17-year-old senior student. From my classmates’ perspective, I was really strong, generous and optimistic, because I’d never cried, got scared or angry in front of them. It seemed like nothing could bother me and my pet phrase were “it’s okay”, “I’m good”, or “I don’t care”. But actually, only I knew the who I really was, too introverted, too coward to show my true feelings toward anything that will make me look weak. I was acting like a really mild person because I thought that if I got angry with someone, he/she would dislike me and I would lose a friend.
My closest relative was my dog “Lucky”, which was a stray dog I picked up from the neighbour block of my house. I could say whatever I wanted to it without worrying about what it would think about me. However, even to my parents, I could not always open my heart.
“Hey Riley, what’s going on, you look upset.” My mom asked during we were having dinner.
“Nope mom, I’m good, just a little tired.” While I was answering this, my heart actually bled because I’d got the lowest grade in the World History test. Not only for the grades, but also for my classmates’ and even teacher’s reaction. A girl called Janie cried because of the bloody D she got in the test. Although I got an F, I could not show any sadness or weakness in front of any others, instead I just kept calm with the usual smile on my face, with the heart crying inside. Knowing that I’m such a “strong” girl that failing on a test would not be a case for me at all, everyone went to console Janie without asking how I was, but it’s okay actually, I’ve already got used to it. However, what really surprised me was that the attitude of my teacher Mr. Simpson. The words he used to becalm Janie really hurt me like a knife stabbing into my heart.
“Don’t worry Janie. You still have a lot of chances to make up your grades, still less Riley got an F, then look at you, you are not failing, you are not the worst!” said Mr.Simpson.
“Yeah exactly, even Riley is not crying, what are you sad for.” Another boy added.
What? Even if they did not think I would care about the grades, how could they just used my pain to comfort someone else without concerning about my feeling any more. Did they think that I would not care about how mean their words were also? I pretend to be strong, but it does not mean that I’m heartless. If there were only my classmates talking in that way, probably I would not be as angry and broken-hearted as I was at that time. I was actually really disappointed with Mr. Simpson. However, several questions struck me: Why did he only treat me like that? He used to be so nice that I did not think he would say something mean to others. Did he hate me because I failed his test? But I had to maintain the image that I was really good-tempered and generous, so I did not say anything, let alone yell or cry.
I kept thinking about those questions during the whole day. When I got to home, I sat on the floor in my room with Lucky lying on my legs.
“Do you think they hate me?” I asked Lucky.
It did not reply.
“Then it must be their fault. They are so mean.” I complained.
Suddenly Lucky stood up and starred at me. While I was looking at Lucky, I saw myself in its eyes.
“Do you think I also did something wrong?” asked I.
“WOW!WOW!” barked Lucky, wagging its tail.
That’s the answer I’ve never expected. But Lucky was right. I’ve camouflaged while getting along with all people for really a long time, so long that almost convinced myself that I was as strong as I looked like. Sometimes when I said “I’m good”, I asked myself “am I?”in my mind. But sometimes, I even did not realise that I had said “I’m fine” just now. Even I was not sure about who I really was, how could others see through my mind and find out the real me.
From then on, I’ve decided to gradually open up my heart, expressing my real feelings, crying when I’m sad, yelling when I’m angry. Although it’s a tough change, I’ m trying it. At first, when someone made me angry, I just increased my volume even without a angry face. However, I’ll never forget the stunned faces of my classmates. It’s like a little sheep’s first roar which was much more shocking than that of a lion, since everyone was wondering how serious a problem could be to be able to enrage a mild person like me. But actually, it was just a boy knocking over a pile of books on my desk without picking them up or saying sorry to me. If it was in the past, I must just say “never mind”, smiling. But at this time, when the boy just walked away without apologising, I got really angry.
“Hey, Jack!” I shouted at him and went up to him.
“Wh…What’s up…Riley?” He stammered. I could feel his tension from his stunned face.
“You tell me! Don’t you realise those books are on the floor?” I starred at him.
“Oh…So…Sorry… I didn’t realise that…I…I’ll pick them up.” He was keeping eluding my eyesight.
Then he turned around immediately and picked all the books up, and even put them orderly on my desk.At that time, everyone in the classroom starred at me with his/ her mouth slightly opening, as if that boy was sinner who had done something really vile. Actually I was pretty nervous while showing my anger for the first time, and definitely I did not expect the reaction of my classmates. After that, my determination to be an outspoken person got strengthened.
Disguise is so tiring that I’ve fed up with it. Why not free myself to be genuine person?