As a young girl I was told that I could do anything I set my mind to. I was told that I could do anything a boy could do and if I did it better than grate. These are all things that my parents instilled in me at an extremely young age. My mother is the only daughter and she was taught that she could accomplish anything she wanted. While my father is the youngest and had about 4 older sisters who bossed him around and were independent and strong. So it is normal for both my parents to have instilled this powerful female mentality inside of my head. I am the oldest of 3 girls I need to be the strong one to set a positive role model for my younger sisters to follow and know that they could accomplish anything.

As I arrived into my teen years I lost this fire that had been instilled in me since birth basically. I started to conforming to what society wanted me to be; to what men wanted me to be or teenage boys. I tried to change the way I talked, the way I dressed to impress the boys and those around me and I even dumb myself down to make myself seem more attractive. All I wanted was acceptance into the group of people I thought were my friends. I learned the hard way that these people didn't care that I was changing myself for them, they were stuck in there ways. So I ended up eating lunch by myself for majority of my senior year of high school. I was the outcast because I dressed and talked to proper for the black kids at my school. At the same time I was probably to black and not proper enough to fit in with the white kids at my school. I was an outcast and I had completely lost who I was as a person.

When it was time to apply to colleges and universities I knew I wanted to get as far away from my school and these people as possible. Now I realize that I needed to leave to find myself as a person again. I went to a school on a totally different coast than where I live. A place I knew no one from my school would go to. I needed to escape all of the negatives in my life and find the positives and I knew the positives were out there I just had to go find them. My school is all the parts of my self that I needed to find again. I was able to find my love of community service by participating in a multitude of community service events. I found people that I could rely on and be myself around. Yes they make fun of me when I watch Doctor Who, Lord of The Rings or some other nerdy show. The difference is that they accept me for it while back in high school I would have been scared to let anyone know that I like that kind of stuff because I had a fear they would judge me for it. If I wear something that doesn't match they will tell me and even though these are simple things I never had them before so they mean the world to me now.

Now I am a young woman; I am only in my junior year of college and plan on doing so much with my life. One thing I know for sure though is that I don’t want young girls feeling trapped as I once did. I want them to feel amazing about themselves and accept themselves as they are. I want people to be accepting of each other. I want that girl who is eating lunch by herself right now to know that everything will get better. I am not asking for world peace because that will take some time to accomplish but, what I am asking for is that parents talk to their children about being more accepting to those that aren't the same as them. I want thee little girls who feel like it is unacceptable to be themselves to know that they can do whatever they put their mind to. That they don’t have to conform to anyone and that the moment they start doing that they won’t feel trapped anymore.

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