To Appease those Around me or to Appease myself, that is the question.

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Being taunted relentlessly and the need to be accepted by peers are the main reasons for changes in people’s lives and personalities, especially during pre-teen and teenage years. In my life, I, myself have undergone this cumbersome process and in fact I characterize my pre-teen years as somewhat “traumatic”. During this time, I was scrutinized in every aspect; being called everything from a frizzy haired freak to brace face. These situations not only served to make me a stronger individual but also served to mold the person that we see today.
I was, and still am, one of the brightest students in class and almost every student would come to me to seek advice about school. However, at that time I did not realize the importance of intelligence and self-respect. As I grew older to about the age of twelve, my peers began to alter my state of mind and I began to stray away from the important things in life. The acceptance of my peers became so important that nothing else mattered anymore. With my altered priorities, I changed and it was not for the better.
I began to use vulgar language, ironically, in a catholic school. I began to lie to my parents and my brother about my grades and my athletics. I began to change my studious appearance, not for myself, but for the acceptance of my peers. I forced my parents to buy me expensive merchandise such as Prada and Gucci just to fit in with the crowd. My delinquent behavior even stemmed to my academics. I lied to my teachers about my missing assignments and my misbehavior in class. Worst of all, I spoke to my wonderful parents in a disrespectful and condescending manner. My perceptions toward life were based on the feelings of those around me and the real person inside me was being suppressed.
My freshmen year of high school crept up on me, and my attitude hadn’t changed a bit. In other words I was best described in a couple of words, a stuck up expletive. During my freshmen year I realized that I spoke and acted in a way that pleased others. One day in Chamorro class, Melanie and April were talking about Disney channel and my automatic response was “I don’t like the Disney channel.” However, I did like and I still like it, but I thought to myself “Why can’t I admit that I like Disney channel?” As fickle as this incident may seem this was the moment when I realized how much I had changed and how much of myself I had given up just to please others.
I am not proud of my past but I have learnt from my wrongdoing and today I realize how important it is to be an individual and to express individual opinions. I do not want to blend in the crowd anymore and I am comfortable for being the person that I am. During my pre-teen years I used to view myself as an ugly duckling but today I consider myself an elegant swan. I am now comfortable in my skin and am unafraid to distinguish myself from everyone else. I am respectful and reverent towards my parents and my teachers and have cut down on my use of vulgar language, and I do things that please me. Best of all, I am the best SHRUTI I can be and no one can change that expect for me, of course. =)





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