Sierra Shares: Discovering ourselves

Sierra Dickey, Editor-in-chief

Since starting my Junior year, I have found myself consistently asking the mirror the same question: “Who am I?” I have found myself getting so lost in the cacophony of daily school living, and being so absorbed in assignments due, while also trying to keep up with the normal drama of a seventeen-year old’s life that I have neglected to focus on myself. I am sure that these circumstances can be applied to many of you reading this paper.

What makes a person who they are? What makes me Sierra Marie Dickey? Is it the outfits that I spend so much time putting together, or is it the straightener that smooths all of the waves out of my hair?  Is it even the words that leave my mouth while talking to my friends? If it is those things, what keeps me from blending in with every other seventeen-year old trying to survive their Junior year of high-school?

As I walk through the halls of Clear Creek I find it hard to see the things that make me unique. We all seem to be walking with the same determined step, desperately trying to make it from class to class. Some of us with the tense expression of just having done second period’s homework in first period. Some of us with the relaxed expression of enjoying the reprieve from classes. Though I know every face is different, they all start to mesh into a blur of faces that look just like the one I saw in the mirror that morning.

From the day we are born, we have expectations placed upon us. What height and weight percentile do we fall under? Are we hitting all the milestones and developmental landmarks we should be? Are we reading at the expected grade level? Are we completing homework assignments and meeting expected test scores? All these expectations serve as guides to make sure we are on the right track, that we are healthy and happy. But these are all generalized standards, there is no individuality to them. So, it is no wonder that as I walk these halls I find it hard to differentiate myself from my peers, since we are all measured in exactly the same way. The girl who flunked her Pre-calculus test can’t go home and be happy about the A she just made on her English paper. The boy with an award-winning art piece can’t smile because for some reason biology just does not make sense to him. And since we are falling short of what the expected standards say we should be doing in some areas, we feel inadequate. So, the girl starts to focus more on Pre-calculus just so she can pass, but in doing so her English papers are not what they used to be. The boy now begins to neglect his artwork so he can put more energy into passing Biology. This process of give and take begins to water-out our passions, and take away from who we are as individuals.

So how are we supposed to find time to be able to work on ourselves as individual unique human beings? Can I google, “who am I supposed to be?” Is there an app that I can buy for $1.99 that will take me step by step to the person I am meant to become? No, of course not, but how in a world that is now filled with so much instant gratification am I supposed to be expected to take the time to find out who that person in the mirror is. Especially when every avenue I turn down is telling me that if I cannot meet certain expectations I must be doing something wrong. How can I find the time to look myself in the mirror and say, “You are not falling short, you are not inadequate, you are unique?”

Although, I do not think as teenagers we should have our lives and who we are going to be for the rest of them figured out yet. I do believe it is never too early to begin reflecting on the people we are starting to become. I also believe that knowing just because you are not meeting some of the societally constructed norms placed upon us does not make you any less of a person. I hope everyone is able to find their passion, and I hope once they do they hold onto to it for the rest of their lives.