Alienation Essay Example
In today's world for adolescents, there is intense pressure to always feel like you belong. I think the irony of this is that everyone goes through grand gestures to fit in, when in fact, together we are all alone. Whether it is social media, school, or even social interactions, teenagers perceive life as judgmental and competitive, causing anxiety and a feeling of isolation. However, what teens fail to realize is that we determine whether our perceptions will hold us back or not, ultimately sealing our fate. I know that alienation is intimidating, however, I did not allow that to interfere with my values such as receiving an excellent education, meeting new friends, and learning about my self-worth.
Socialization was difficult for me. Meeting kids my age, frightened me since I thought I had nothing in common with them. I guess one could say that it is paradoxical that I decided to go onto a teen tour across America for six weeks. But, I knew that a teen tour would forever change me as a person as well as my perspective in life. Meeting teens around the country exhibits diverse lifestyles and viewpoints. As an impressionable fifteen-year-old, I recognized the importance to better myself as an individual. However, I would be in for some unfortunate news even before I started my journey.
In life, dilemmas come when it is least expected, and I unfortunately learned this the day before my trip. As I left my house to go on a run, I could not help but feel at peace, up until I fell down on my ankle. Instead of crying or screaming, I instead just collected my emotions and ignored whatever fear or pain, there was and limped back home. To me, it did not feel any different from another accident. As soon as I entered through the door, I mentioned my accident to my mother, and we collectively decided to go to the doctor, purely to be safe. After the nurse took x-rays of my left ankle, the doctor explained that I tore a ligament, and needed to go into a wheelchair for the entire trip. My excitement progressed into apprehension, as I did not want to be an outsider or a burden on anyone else. I would be the only person in a wheelchair on that tour, and the thought of someone having to push me in a wheelchair 24/7 frightened me. I already felt alienation, and pondered whether this tour was worth going on anymore.
I was overwhelmed with anxiety. Being presented with new people for six weeks would be challenging, especially being immobile. The last thing I wanted to become was an encumbrance, and I did not want to be remembered as that girl in the wheelchair. Fortunately, I was happily surprised to find out that my anxiety was erroneous. Kids not only volunteered to push me, but also wanted to become friends with me. Although I feared making friends with others, I always valued the importance of doing so, leading me to step out of my comfort zone, despite my physical disability. I came out of that trip as a new person, and my physical disability did not hinder me from the joy and self growth I gained.
My trip was not the only instance where I felt like an outsider. Throughout middle school and the start of high school, being in restricted classes made me feel inferior to others. I was never in the same classes as my friends, and was with the same kids every year. The doors in the classes felt like barricades, separating me from the rest of the students in my grade. However, these feelings were what pushed me to be in more rigorous classes, leading me taking two AP's during senior year. Although alienation hurt me at the time, it led me to achieve the impossible for me, enabling pride and dedication to knock down those walls.
Being a teen today proves to be challenging, especially when it comes to social media. We all see people living their “perfect” lives, and cannot help but feel jealous. But what we fail to see is the truth, which is what our screens cannot show. Those smiles and vacation pictures may conceal what they are insecure about. Although we define perfection in different ways, we all share something in common: alienation. Sitting in our rooms and watching others' pictures on Instagram shows how alone we are, proving to be detrimental to our mental wellbeing.
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