Tackling Alienation Essay Example
In today’s world, there is intense pressure on adolescents to always feel like you belong. 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 through the rise of social media, pressure at school, or social interactions, we perceive life as a competition, as though we are constantly judged. However, what teens fail to realize is that we determine whether our perceptions will hold us back or not, ultimately sealing our fate later on in life. I learned that alienation can be intimidating, but I did not allow the fear of not belonging interfere with my chances of receiving an excellent education, meeting new friends, and realizing my self worth.
Socialization was difficult for me because I thought I had nothing in common with kids my age. One could say that it is paradoxical that I went on a religious teen tour across America for six weeks as a rising junior. But I knew that going on this tour would allow for me to change as a person as well as my perspective in life. However, I would be in for some unfortunate news even before I started my journey.
As with most things in life, hardship arrives when least expected, and I unfortunately learned this the day before my trip when I fell down on my ankle. My excitement progressed into apprehension when the doctor told me I would have to be in a wheelchair for the entire trip. I already felt alienated, and wondered whether this tour was worth going on anymore.
I was riddled with anxiety. Not only did I have to get to know strangers over the next six weeks, but I had to do it while injured. Fortunately, I realized my worries were unfounded. For instance, at Disney World, my worries of being without a group dissipated when I experienced one of the best moments in my life. Going on rides and seeing fireworks with my friends sparked joy, and I felt part of something that I never had before. Also, kids not only volunteered to help me get around, but also wanted to become my friend. I quickly discovered my self-worth, as I attracted positive attention from others. Whether it was staying up at night, laughing with my roommates, or speaking hours on end on the bus, I left that trip a new person, and my anxiety did not hinder me from meeting new people, or from realizing my self-growth. But, this trip reminded me of the time I felt like an outsider in middle school and the start of high school.
Throughout middle school and the start of high school, I was enrolled in some restricted classes. This meant that I was never in the same classes as my friends, and was with the same kids every year. The doors in those restricted classes appeared like barricades, separating me from the rest of the students in my grade. However, these feelings pushed me to work towards taking more rigorous classes, and I eventually took two advanced classes in my senior year. Although that earlier separation hurt me at the time, it motivated me to achieve what I once thought was impossible, and with time and diligence, I was the one to knock down those walls.
Through my experiences in life, I have learned that we live in a world filled with those who have a feeling of detachment. As much as we may try to avoid situations where we feel like outsiders, it is inevitable that we feel isolated at some point in our lives. While we aim to feel part of something bigger than ourselves, what we fail to see is the truth, something that our screens cannot show. Though people define perfection in different ways, we all share something in common: fear of alienation. Sitting in our rooms and watching others’ pictures on Instagram shows how alone we are, proving to be detrimental to our mental wellbeing.
Being able to push through my anxiety and self-doubt shows that I am a warrior. I embrace diversity, and can to do the same in a college environment. I learned that it is imperative for me to go out of my comfort zone, reach out to different types of people, and to be receptive towards others. This allows me to learn more about the world and bridge the divide. It’s only when we do that, that we as a college community and as a society can thrive.
A sense of belonging does not always come easy. Whether it was my trip or being in restricted classes, I felt like an outsider. However, this feeling did not hold me back in life, and instead I channelled that energy into changing unfortunate circumstances turn into life changing experiences. While we cannot choose how others may make us feel, we can control of perceptions and how we feel. Intense pressures can alienate us from the real world, or make us feel lonely, but with time we realize we get to choose how we react to these emotions, and our reactions can determine our future.
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