Teenage Introspection

9 Apr

It’s so hard to be yourself in a world that is constantly evolving, and  trying to transform us in the process. If you conditioned yourself to follow every norm of society, yes, you will fit in – but the question is: are you trying to fit in or stand out?

Until the fourth grade, the first page of my notebook always had to be a page for me to describe myself. Now, in the 11th grade,  I feel the need to do this more than ever. This is supposed to be my journey to  find out who I am and what I am –  after all that will be the basis of my applications for college or choosing a field to pursue for the rest of my life. WHO AM I? Is my persona a manifestation of the values and ideas instilled in me by my parents or views and expectations from  society? Are my weaknesses truly my weaknesses? Or are they just misunderstood strengths? Am I self-satisfied or is my satisfaction contingent on the satisfaction of those around me

Here’s my advice to myself:

Don’t pay heed to the extrinsic advice and opinions of others,  because being who you are, you’re predisposed to have your own version of what is right and what is wrong. And of course, being a mere adolescent, you haven’t seen the other side of the coin yet. Chances are you’re more likely to be wrong than right but if you make your own share of mistakes, you’ll learn better from them than from anyone else’s.

You are in your last few years of school, you’re applying for university, you’re establishing who you are, not only for yourself but also for the person your peers will remember. Don’t let this be  an attempt at someone you are trying to be. You might be a confused contradiction but YOU are YOU and unless you accept yourself as the person you truly are, don’t expect others to do so. Throw light to the shadows of your doubt and be accountable to yourself.

High school is tough and we’re all trying to fit in; to be the perfect pretty girl, that person who never studies but gets the best grades, that boy who everyone thinks is a Greek God. But this is high school, it’ll be over before you know it. Don’t fuss over your SAT prep and the fact that you have so many other exams to give, reports to write, internships to do, just DO IT, because this is the only time you’re ever going to have to do it, the only time you get to lay these bricks as the foundation for your dreams . Be yourself and focus – you’ll find yourself and your dreams will find you. The influences around you could affect you profoundly, but at the end of the day it has to be  you who taking the right steps.

School is all about stirring curiosity, sharing joys and sorrows with your peers in the classroom and on the sports field, discovering the meaning of team spirit, discovering hard work,and finding out about the world around you – and discovering yourself to prepare for a challenging life ahead. You’d be better motivated and equipped to take on this hostile world with your head held high and integrity intact, and this is possible only if you are truly your own self.

“Let others determine your worth and you’re already lost, because no one wants people worth more than themselves.”― Peter V. Brett, The Warded Man

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” – Lao Tzu


Nanki Singh is a Class 11 student at Modern School Vasant Vihar in New Delhi. She loves reading, writing, photography – and holds a Senior Diploma in Indian Classical Vocal Music. She’s also a swimmer and a track & field athlete in her spare time!

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