As you get dressed in the morning before school, what do you think about? As you brush your teeth, do you worry about how you look? As you jump on the bus, do you stress about how cool you are, or how you’ll act, or how well you’ll do in school that day?
Every day, every hour, teens are pressured. What do people think of me? Who am I supposed to be? Are my friends the kind of friends I want? Who am I? Adolescence is a huge, huge part in finding out who you truly are.
One thing that is a big influence on who we become is self-awareness. Teens ask questions like, “Do people like me?” “Am I cool or popular?” “Am I noticed?” “Do people even care about me?” Kids are pressured by what they wear, what they do in their spare time, who they hang out with, and even the foods they eat. They don’t know if they should try out for the basketball team or join the yearbook club instead. Self-awareness is a healthy part of adolescence and finding out your identity. They can learn to make mistakes and make their own decisions and hopefully, in the end, become a better and more confident person.
Another thing that influences a person’s identity is reflection. What happened in your past might change the way you think about someone or yourself. It might be difficult to forgive if something happened. Or maybe the past made you more confident, having done something big or stepped out of your comfort zone.
You might look at your life and wonder, “Is this who I want to be? Have I made good decisions in the past?” Reflecting back can help you learn from your mistakes, forgive someone who hurt you, and surge ahead, not worrying about what already happened but what lies ahead.
The third thing that affects who you become is a question: “Who am I?” Everyone asks themselves this and it leads to thinking, “Is this who I want to be?” again. It might be hard to decide what’s good for you, who’s good for you, and what you need to change. It takes courage to stand up against those who you thought were right but turned out not. It may be hard to figure things out on your own, and sometimes you can’t; it’s okay to ask for help. But everyone does come to this question, and everyone can hopefully, after some time, answer it.
So as I wrap this up, I want to ask you, “What is your identity?” Are you still trying to figure out where you belong, like I am, or do you already know? Are you making the right decisions? I hope I helped you in finding out your identity and helped you understand who you are.
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Wondering what this is? It’s part of a series of posts from stories and essays I wrote during school. This particular one is an essay I wrote in grade 8 about identity. Sorry for the very essay-like structure…my essays now are less structured and more flowing.