Finding Me

Judith Romero, Reporter/Photo Editor

In a world full of social media and unreachable standards, is it normal for me to feel so conflicted with finding myself? I often feel ambushed in trying to fit in and be myself.

In my honors & advanced classes I often catch myself confused and lost over a topic or even a prompt that is being assigned. I think to myself, “Am I even supposed to be in this class?” “Am I dumb?” While others are typing away and doing their work I’m still stuck on understanding simple instructions. 

Even with people I’m supposed to feel most comfortable with, my own friends, I stay quiet, drowning in my thoughts. “Am I too loud?” “Do they even like me?” “What if I’m annoying?” When I’m playing the sport I love most, the sport I’ve been playing since the age of 10, the sport that has practically turned into my personality at this point, has me questioning if I should even continue playing. A small mistake gets me extremely frustrated and insecure. 

This feeling has been with me since middle school, the worst two years of my life, in which I tried my hardest to become a completely different person, just to please others’ opinions of me. I let others’ opinions affect my whole personality, what I liked or what I even didn’t like. My whole middle school and high school life thus far, has been a series of thoughts throughout the day questioning if I’m a person who fits in the norm. Now, do I have undiagnosed social anxiety? Maybe. Even if I do, society will always try to find a way to sugarcoat the way I feel. As much as society is trying to normalize certain issues such as being yourself and finding your true identity, it just adds more pressure onto others.

My parents have also contributed to this “problem” of mine, “¿Por qué no te enfocas más en la escuela?” is a common one. Parents, especially ones of first generation children, tend to add a lot of pressure onto their children academically. With my luck, I’m the oldest and have to set an example for my sisters as well as making my parents proud. Judgment is a common theme in my house. I can’t go a day without my mom pointing out something I’m doing wrong or even my appearance.

In utopia, (aka the internet) everyone is always so sure of what they are, or what they want to be. It makes me reminisce about what my purpose really is. What do I do with  my life now? After college? Will I even make it to college? Can I even make it through the week?  Instead of trying to fit in with unbelievably high standards, I’d rather cry. However, I’m aware that I can’t make it through my entire life wondering who I am.

Fortunately this problem, I’ve found, is very relatable to others. Knowing I’m not alone has helped me encourage me to better myself and change my mindset.