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I overcame my anxiety with a taste of perspective

Joined: 5/26/2011
Posts: 1
The fluorescent blink of my bedside clock flickers to 1:04 a.m. I am unaware of this in my slumber. The blinkering clock flashes 1:05 a.m. and my door swings opens with a bang, bouncing against wall – I am very aware of this. I awake suddenly to my father’s furious face above me. He informs me that I have an 84 percent in English and demands to know how it is possible for me to be doing so poorly; it is entirely unacceptable and will certainly ruin my chances of getting into a top-notch university. My somewhat-dazed response is not adequate. He tells me to quit “fooling around,” and advises me to eliminate time-consuming activities, referring to my volunteer work at a local hospital, to my indignation. Not long later his rage is expended and he heads off to sleep, but how my father expects me to resume my sleep after this singly unpleasant discussion is the question. However, I am not unaccustomed to this behavior. Throughout my childhood to present, my father’s fixation on academia has been a looming presence in my life. Not until this year have I been able to overcome the pressure I felt about school my entire life and reconcile with my father’s expectations of me.
Such encounters with my father have always caused feelings of resentment, disquiet and inadequacy. I hate when he dismissed the activities I loved most as unimportant or unnecessary. I hate his misconception that a B grade could spoil my chances of getting into a good college. Furthermore, because I have been subjected to academics-related tirades for as long as I can remember, my father’s fixation has become mine. Earning the best grades is as important to me as it is to my father; the will and drive to achieve the best is deeply ingrained in me. I have taken great lengths to maintain my grade: staying up sometimes to three-in-the-morning to study, sucking down energy drinks for stamina; when it comes to putting in academic effort, I seem indefatigable. This illusion was shattered, however, when I passed out walking out of class after a long night of no sleep. After witnessing the concern of my doctor and my parents, I was gradually able to turn a new leaf on my study habits, working hard without overextending myself. No more Monster drinks, no more all-nighters. Of course I still care deeply about my academic success, but better study habits have greatly reduced the anxiety I used to experience almost constantly; likewise, my father is less likely to criticize when he witnesses my increased sense of responsibility and timeliness. The incident helped me – and my parents – realize the importance of good health; a B may seem like the end of my world, but a serious illness may very well be. Ultimately, I was able to overcome my difficulties with a simple taste of perspective.
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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.

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 and other media outlets.

Congrats again. We look forward to seeing more of your essays/writing on Thanks for helping us in our mission of creating the world's largest pool of cross-generational stories.
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 6:36:09 PM
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Comment by kinzie52

Joined: 1/8/2011
Posts: 45
Parents can put so much pressure on us, and often we put so much pressure on ourselves. I know I'm the exact same way. Three in the morning study night and overextending my workload. I get sick a lot too. But I admire you that you've been able to change your perspective! Thats something a lot of pressured students need to recognize. Way to go!
Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 7:22:54 PM
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Comment by sanya100

Joined: 5/25/2011
Posts: 5
I really like how you used challenging words. :)
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 9:19:00 PM
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