This I Believe

Lauren - Danvers, Massachusetts
Entered on January 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

A Simple Question

Have you ever felt like a little nothing in your own world? Well let me tell you my secret. I have felt this way my entire life, up until my junior year. This feeling occurred during school and other activities with my friends. Up until this year I was afraid to ask my teachers questions in or out of class, just because I didn’t want to be wrong. Imagine living your life being embarrassed to ask a simple question. I always felt like this way and it drove me crazy. How stupid. Now I have to learn that it is okay to be wrong. I believe from my own experience, that asking questions is brave.

When I was in school I never raised my hand or volunteered to read. I never wanted to be wrong or sound stupid. When I was called upon, I would always start with, “um, ah…” then the answer. When I found out I was wrong, which I normally was, I would laugh it off or just put my head down. Peer pressure, all the other kids would laugh at me. I just wanted to fit in and be like every other kid.

When it came to friends, I had plenty. I was always surrounded by a positive influence. My teachers, family and friends always supported me and told me I was a good student. It didn’t seem that way to me, and when it came to comparing grades, theirs were always better. Again I felt embarrassed, all I wanted to do was go home and cry to my mom.

My grades suffered because of my lack of effort that I had given towards my school subjects. I didn’t consider my grades to be good because I never asked any questions. My lack of attention also became a problem. I didn’t focus because I figured it wasn’t worth it. Once and while when my mom would meet for teacher conferences, they would tell her I didn’t ask any questions, volunteer to read or even stay after school. Then began the push of my mom to stay after school, become more attentive and rely on my talkative personality to ask questions when needed. I listened to some of her encouragement, and it helped, but I still couldn’t get myself to ask a simple question.

When I got into high school I was well adjusted to the changes my mom wanted me to take on. Still not asking questions though, I felt that this is who I am. I still wasn’t good enough; I wanted to make my learning experience better for myself. I wanted my grades to improve to my standards and I wanted to be able to raise my hand high and ask my teachers a question.

My sophomore year I finally spoke up to my parents of the emotions inside I was feeling. They took me to the doctors, and I took a number of tests. I was diagnosed at the age of 16, with ADD. Although knowing this doesn’t change me as a person because I have had it my entire life, going into my junior year I became more of a positive learner. I felt more at ease and my schoolwork became more of an interest of mine than a force pushing me to do it. Now I am attentive in class and answer as many questions as I can. My grades have improved and I get better class participation on my report cards. This changed my outlook on education dramatically. Though this was a challenge for me, this I believe asking a simple question is brave.