The Tablet Jr. > April, 2021

By Miley Magalhaes, Grade 7

The Root of the Problem

As the youngest in the family and the only girl, I have always been competitive with my older brothers whether it be in sports or grades. However, my competitive personality became apparent in third grade when my older brother got a perfect average in his eighth-grade year and I gave myself the challenge of beating his perfect score. No one ever told me I had to beat his score, I just put it upon myself to do so. Ever since then, I have put unnecessary pressure on myself causing me stress. Therefore, I believe we must be aware of aspects like this to improve our daily life and health.

Stress and Expectations

I have always felt the need to prove myself because of the constant comparison to my brothers. I have felt the need to show that I can also do good, if not better. Throughout my life, I have participated in competitive activities such as tennis and dance because of my need to compete. However, I have learned that I put this upon myself and have set such high standards and expectations for myself. Over the years, I have developed an obsession with perfectionism. I have learned that I have become too hard on myself, carrying this pressure throughout my life, everywhere I go.

These expectations have caused me tremendous amounts of stress, causing me to constantly over-prepare for things. I always feel the need to double-check things or even overstudy for a small quiz. In fifth grade, I got so stressed that I had a mental breakdown in the middle of class and had to get sent home. Ever since that day, I have over-prepared for tests, scared it would ever happen again, and have challenged myself to score perfectly on every test. There was no reason to put this challenge on me, but I did and now I have felt the need to complete this challenge.

A Healthier Attitude

In conclusion, it is important to become apparent of aspects like these, so you can improve your life and people’s life around you. I find that it is important to remind myself that life is not about competition. That these numbers do not define who I am. Even though it might be hard to discover such traits, you should always try because it is important to become self-aware of your different characteristics. These characteristics can greatly affect your life and learning about them can help you learn more about yourself and who you are. Therefore, you should become aware of your different characteristics and try to learn more about yourself, not only to help others but to help you.