I Believe in Knowing Yourself

Krystle - Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entered on April 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that only you know what is best for you. Sure, well-educated doctors may be able to try and figure out what the problem is, based on symptoms, but symptoms and feelings are totally different things, and you can only describe your feelings to a certain degree. You are the only person who knows how you feel.

During my freshman year in high school, I was struggling in my academics, which had never been like me. My doctor became convinced that I was depressed, even though I knew I was not, and prescribed me to antidepressants. Instead of elevating my mood, the pills sent my emotions plunging. My grades slipped even more. I was enrolled in French II at the time, and my name in class was “Chl”e,” but my classmates referred to me as “Schlo,” implying that I was slow. French, which had formerly been a subject dear to my heart, became a class I despised with a teacher who despised me, and my grade dropped to failing. She told me that if I didn’t pass the final exam, I would fail for the year. I wound up failing the final, but my teacher passed me because she “didn’t want to have me again.”

Finally, after almost a year of my complaints, my doctor realized she was incorrect in her diagnosis and tested me for ADHD. My score was very dramatic; they were amazed I had made it so far in life without treatment.

Once I started taking my new medication, my outlook changed instantly. My desk no longer substituted for my bed- I actually began to pay attention in class. Furthermore, I started to care. I cared about what went on during lessons, I cared about how my teachers perceived me, I cared about making my family happy, I cared about doing well in school, and best of all, I cared about keeping myself happy. My attitude changed phenomenally.

At the time, I had just begun my third year of French with a different teacher. I had finished French II with the lowest grade out of about fifty students. I was determined to work hard and show my former French teacher that I was not, in fact, stupid. I studied vigorously, and by the middle of the year, I had the highest average in French III. Although my degrading nickname had stuck, at least it no longer held validity.

I was inducted into the French Honor Society, for which I was later elected Secretary. I continued taking French through my freshman year of college, never receiving a grade less than an ‘A’ in any of the courses.

Knowing yourself is what makes you yourself- no one else can dictate to you who you are. Sometimes it may take a while to figure out exactly who that may be, and you may have to go through obstacles that seem tough, but eventually those obstacles simmer and become part of what makes you yourself.