Only five years ago, I did not expect to be where I am today; nor did I envision becoming the confident, positive, self-reliant individual who feels the potential to accomplish anything. I was born in Arizona and lived there until I was eleven years old. I went to an alternative elementary school that was founded upon Woldorf teachings. These teachings promote creativity, connection to nature and individuality. The teachers related to us as unique, intelligent and equal beings and encouraged diversity on many levels.
As a result, I can now see that the foundation of my personality is non-judgmental, gentle, supportive, trusting and loving. At age eleven, my family and I moved to Texas. It was the first time I had to enter into the public school system and I did not have a pleasant experience whatsoever. I felt extremely unsafe and judged. Even the teachers were condescending in how they communicated with us students. Throughout these three years in public schools I was constantly teased by my so called friends who labeled me as dumb. I attended a local high school for my last year of public schooling.
During this school year I was bullied by my classmates. They gave me derogatory nick-names, threatened to physically harm me and proceeded to humiliate and shame me on Facebook. This was extremely traumatizing for me and some sort of drastic and immediate change was needed. Thankfully, in a nearby town, there was a charter based high school geared towards the arts, individual expression and social equality. I was desperate for something new and different and decided to give this school a try, even though I was terrified of the unknown.
During this transition I faced a lot of fear and I ultimately built a foundation that would carry me through the next big stage in my life; going to college. Changing high schools had a big impact on me. It heavily influenced who I have become today, but another important influence in my life is the unconditional love and respect that I receive from my dad and step-mom. They are such incredibly open-minded people. They always encourage my independence and have never taken my power, individuality or self-trust away from me. As a result, I am not afraid of meeting new people and overcoming my own problems.
I feel that because of the way I have been raised and the various challenges that I have been exposed to in my life my transition from high school to college was rather smooth. As a result of my independence I experienced more freedom at a younger age. This freedom allowed me to see and learn what most people don’t discover until they get to college and therefore I had a lot of experience and was able to avoid getting into situations that I may regret later on. As a result, I was able to put more of my time and focus into my studies. However, I still faced difficulties that required stepping out of my comfort zone.
For example, the first couple of weeks at college I was completely afraid I wouldn’t make friends, or make the right ones. I believed that I wasn’t capable of achieving my goals and I felt overwhelmed with all of the time consuming studies. In contrast, I made many friends and received a 4. 0 my first semester. I understand that many people have a hard time with the transition from high school to college, from living with parents to learning how to be independent. It is an exciting and challenging time in one’s life to go through this transformation and learn how to become a responsible adult.
By overcoming the difficulties of this transition that I have faced, I feel I have the capability/skill/potentiality to help others through this time of their lives. I would encourage each individual to meet and interact with people by getting involved all around campus, whether that is through activities or clubs and organizations. Meeting new people is a great way to move out of our comfort zones and ultimately grow as individuals. I also would personally go out of my way to make new students feel welcomed, appreciated and comfortable, and ensure that they have the most positive experience possible.
I have always seen myself as a leader, although I question the fact that any one of us really knows who we are at the deepest levels. Many people assume that who they are is based upon how other people see them. I think that who I am is always changing, growing and evolving from within, although I do believe that a good leader displays certain qualities such as; compassion, understanding, humility, positivity, respect and first and foremost responsibility. As a potential future leader I embrace these traits as some of the most exciting aspects of myself.