Personal identity within a society is the attribute that defines every individual. It is what sets you apart from the person siting or standing next to you. My name is Manas Chittal. I am 25 years old. I am an Indian citizen and am currently in Australia to gain a university education and learn my future trade in the Media and Communications industry. I like to consider myself as a fair and straightforward person. But this wasn’t always the case. Past occurrences have shaped me to be the person I am today.
I hail from an average middle class family in Mumbai, India. I have been fortunate to be raised in such a modern city, something that my grandparents were not able to experience in their youth. My family consists of high achievers in terms of academics and professional life. Since my childhood, there has always been the expectance of me meeting or exceeding similar achievements as my elders and on most accounts, I have just disappointed.
I started out to be very good at school by achieving top grades and being what my parents imagined me to be up until the 5th grade. After that, it all started going wrong. As I developed physically and mentally, my grades declined. This turn of events didn’t bother me as much as it bothered my family as neither family nor myself could pinpoint the reason of this sudden decline. My confidence took a hit and I was starting to loose interest in school. But education in current times is extremely important and my parents kept pushing me to try my level best and get through school so that I could get a college education. The one positive point I could take out of this time is that my parents’ persistence and support actually made sure that I got through and did not fail. So I am grateful to them for that.
I finished school by clearing my 10th grade state board exams. Even though I achieved my lowest ever score, my family and I was glad that I got through. Next step was college. I had to opt for commerce stream because I had not scored enough to get into science. This is where I faced my first ever failure. I failed 2 subjects in the 11th grade. I absolutely did not heed attention to studies. I was totally distracted by this new atmosphere of independence that college gets you. I rarely came home cause I was always out with the new friends that I had made and this did not bode well with my family. But at that point I couldn’t care less and I went the flow.
This trend continued for a year up until I was presented with an opportunity to study abroad by my parents. They thought that a change in environment might just help me get back on track. I secured admission in Melbourne’s Deakin University and got into the IT course, something that I was keen on pursuing. But things did not go as planned for me or my parents. I wasn’t doing any better at school and all I did was party and drink thier savings away. This prompted my parents to call me back home and now I was back to square one.
It was hard to adjust back home given that the independence and lack of authority I had in Australia was taken away, even though I was there for just one year. I slipped into depression for sometime. During that period I had loads of time to think over some of the choices I had made in life and I promised myself that I would improve. I started working as an office admin for a couple of years and then I took up a course in filmmaking. That’s where I developed a passion for media. After completing the course I worked with a studio and learned how to manage a production floor for another couple of years.
Seeing this transition from me being plain lazy and unmotivated to me trying and working hard, my parents were convinced I could be trusted enough to be given another opportunity to go get a university education and complete my graduation. And now, I sit here at Latrobe University in Melbourne doing media and communications writing this piece as a part of a tutorial exercise and nearly halfway through achieving my degree. The grades I have achieved throughout the first year of the course reflect how I have come through and improved myself since the decline in 6th grade.
The decisions one makes in life conforms ones personal identity in the modern society. Adaption to change is a big part of being human and the changes that are positive, morally right and socially acceptable fuel mental and physical maturity.