Manifesting My Potential

Jerard - Chula Vista, California
Entered on April 30, 2008

From elementary to high school, I excelled in my studies. I thoroughly enjoyed the satisfaction I would get when my teacher would hand me my homework or exam with a written note at the top, marked with a bright red inked pen, “Great Work! A+” or “Very Nice Job.” It was the sense of accomplishment that I enjoyed. The fact that my hard-working efforts were rewarded and validated eliminated any doubts I had of my abilities and intellect as a student. It wasn’t until the start of college that I truly started to question my capabilities and also watch my insecurities manifest themselves.

Entering San Diego State University as a freshman was an eye-opening experience to say the least. At the time, I was unaware of the level of seriousness in college – yes there were your typically slackers but the majority of students were focused on school. In high school, I was so use to students procrastinating, barely studying for exams, and copying each others homework; but in college, students spent long hours preparing for exams or completing homework assignments days before their due. In addition, I was meeting more and more intelligent people. People who were far smarter and a much faster learner than I was. You would think that this type of atmosphere would inspire me to do great things, but in reality, I felt scared and out of place.

Classmates would surpass me in grades, while I struggled to keep up. I would for the first time in my life receive a failing grade on an exam and then finally on a class. I was no longer the capable student I thought I was – it was a strange and unfamiliar feeling. As a result, I developed low self-esteem and loss sight of what I was capable of. Thoughts of failure and disappointment would constantly run through my head. I basically led myself to believe that I was the biggest idiot in school.

Finally, I was fed up with always feeling down on myself (not to mention, I was tired of failing exams). I knew I had to change my way of thinking in order to do well in school. I had to believe that I could overcome anything if I just believed in myself. With a change attitude and hard work, I was able to persevere and overcome the obstacles I faced in school.

This experience in my life has led to me to believe that confidence in myself will bring me success in life. Doubting myself and developing insecurities will only lead to destructive behaviors. Trusting in my own abilities will bring forth a strong sense of self and an unwavering desire to never give up. This will inevitably help me in accomplishing my goals in life and help me become the person I strive to be.