Jenna White is an A Level Student and aspiring musician. Read about her experiences here:
This is a story from a student at Woodhouse College in the first year. She attended a secondary school very far from the location of her college. Different borough, different culture. Throughout secondary school, she was supressed into achieving below her full potential because there development of her personal being was neglected and too much attention was on her grades. Nonetheless, she tried to continue working extremely hard and achieves the highest grades.
In secondary school she was the one with amazing grades, loud and obnoxious with a very small group of mates. Well, there probably isn’t anyone like that in your school since that’s such a strange personality with conflicting characteristics. But this extravagant persona was a façade. She kept herself to herself and worked ever so hard to achieve the best she could – but that was it, she was just the ‘smart girl’. So she gave up and tried to become the polar opposite ‘loud girl who nobody could get a word in edgeways with’. This girl went on to achieve immaculate grades in her GCSEs and to be accepted into a very reputable sixth form college. Happy ending? That’s where you would be wrong. There’s a huge problem. One that supersedes academic problems. It was a problem with her self-esteem.
This story belongs to me.
I’m the only girl to attend Woodhouse College from my secondary school this year. That means that A LOT of friends were lost and, in turn, A LOT had to be made. I tried to use this opportunity to wriggle my way out of the identity crisis I found myself in by allowing people to make friends with me. Not the loud girl, but me. It worked. I have a beautiful circle of new friends that help me on this identity project I’m working on. They do this by simply letting me express myself so I have no reason to put on a personality façade. I would say that even if I did not meet such amazing people, my plan was to remind myself of the reason why I’m here at college and let my fate take the wheel. I strongly believe that I had to bump into at least one person in my walk of life who accepts me for the personality I have and does not require me to change it. Until then, ‘I’ve got family’ I told myself!
It is my social aim to encourage young people to be themselves. Your years in childhood are the most important because it’s the time of learning and development. The older one gets, the less capable of changing they are, so practice of being oneself from a young age reduces the need to change in order to suit the needs of others. Please believe me when I say changing who you are only attracts depression in the long run; you’re not allowing your mind to exercise who and what it really is. It’s a bit like feeding a dog cat food. That dog is being deprived of its right to be what it is – a dog not a cat! This immorality is the same immorality that you put yourself through by not granting yourself the liberty of expressing your true personality.
If you take one thing away from this article, let it be that the most comfortable way of life is truth. Dishonesty never wins in the end.