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I grew up in an average household with two parents who supported me unconditionally. They knew it was important for me to pick my life choices and find my passions. My parents never forced me to pursue their dreams instead of mine, therefore they didn’t have strict expectations. 

However, because my parents never pressured me to become a doctor or lawyer like everyone else, I felt the need to push myself as hard as my peers, who always seemed to be working very hard, and I looked up to them for that. I set standards and expectations for myself. Every time that I reached my expectations, I would raise them even higher, not only in academics but in everything that I did. That included applying myself to my extracurriculars. 

I foresaw a decline, which could have been prevented, but I thought everything was going well at the time. After years of setting expectations after expectations, I put myself in a spot where they were almost impossible to reach. Since I wasn’t able to reach my standards, I started despising my own work, whether it be schoolwork or my hobbies. I hated myself and picked on myself for the little things that I did wrong. I know people make mistakes, but I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t make the same mistakes twice. 

I quit doing the things I used to love because I was so agitated with the results that I was getting, which I deeply regret. I quit doing extracurriculars such as playing the violin, singing in a choir, and drawing since I was disappointed in my own work and art. 

I became extremely self-conscious about my words, thoughts, and actions. It affected how I communicated and impacted my social life. I was unsatisfied with myself. I worried about my social relationships, all the things happening in life, and how I was doing in school. I kept worrying about all the things that I shouldn’t be worried about. To me, it was selfish, but it was what I needed to reflect on. I had always put others before myself, but I realized that caring for others and myself can both be the same priority.

After realizing all the harm that I caused not only to myself but my friends and family as well, I wanted to change my perspective. I took the whole summer to think about myself for once. Becoming content with myself has always been very difficult and challenging, but rediscovering myself and being who I want to be, make being satisfied with myself easier.

Learning to accept myself for the way I am is still a huge challenge that I must overcome in order to be content with my life, but huge progress has been made. I tried to not think about my actions as much and became a little spontaneous at times. I have friends, family, and teachers who accept me for the way I am. I am very grateful for the good influences from them, and never failing to be there when I need them. 

 

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