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I overcame my unbearable shyness



Joined: 5/22/2011
Posts: 5
KL94
The football player wrapped his arms around my waist and smiled.

Last year, that would have never happened. It took a year of tears, stress, and sleepless nights along with a group of the world’s greatest friends for me to finally overcome my anxiety and low self-esteem.

In my Pennsylvania high school, I was always the shy, quiet girl. I was the one that walks down the locker-lined hallways with her head down and her books hugging tightly to her chest. The academic aspect of school came as no problem to me. It was the social aspect, on the other hand, that kept me up at night.

I couldn’t talk to people. When faced with a conversation, I stuttered and choked on my words. It was even worse when it came to presentations. It only took a thirty second presentation for me to break out into nervous, red rashes that reached from my feet to my hairline.

I believed everyone was better than me, no matter how terrible they really were. I thought of myself as the dirt beneath their feet, and I couldn’t help it. I wasn’t good enough to be a cheerleader’s friend, let alone talk to one.

During Junior Year, my friends decided it was time for a change. It was time for me, they said, to step out of my anxiety-filled comfort zone and show people who I truly am: a funny, talkative, intelligent, caring girl who has a lot more to offer than an occasional homework answer.

One day, one of my closest friends told me she nominated me for Junior Social Queen. The other eyes in the classroom landed on me. I felt my cheeks burn as I heard people mumble, probably wondering if she was joking. I would be up against some of the most popular girls at school. I didn’t even want to go to the dance, now I was on the court.

I cried a whole week before the dance. I was so nervous. I would have to walk with a guy down an aisle in front of over three hundred students. Not only that, but I would have to dance with him in front of the aforementioned students.

When it came time for the court to make their entrance that night, I braced myself for the public mocking and embarrassment. My partner held out his arm and we proceeded to walk down the “aisle”. I braced myself for the jeers, but none came. Instead, a deafening cheer escaped from the mouths of the students I was so afraid of. They were cheering for me!

I didn’t win the crown, but I didn’t care. I won my confidence.

In the end, I did get a crown from my friends who had unknowingly given me so much already. Though I am still a work in progress, that silver tiara reminds me of April 2, 2011: the day I became more than the nameless girl in the long hallway.
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Comment by mcoly618


Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
Hi, I'm the PR Coordinator for Stage of Life. I'm leaving you this comment to let you know that your essay for our Teens and Overcoming Challenges writing contest was one of the finalists. Congratulations!

Here's the link to the contest summary page. We'll be formally announcing the winner soon.
http://www.stageoflife.com/Teen_Challenges.aspx

Feel free to share this news with your friends and family. To be named an essay finalists in our national writing competition is a big deal. Our previous winners have been talked about on TIME.com and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on StageofLife.com. Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 6:59:54 PM
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