Motivation for a Llama

February 9, 2016

What motivates and drives me to become the best me possible? A deep desire, a satisfaction of proving to the world, teachers, and myself, I can do anything with or without help. Proving people wrong is a need in my crazed, irrational mind. It’s my drug – the high is too strong to abstain from. This desire, this need, proves to influence my daily life in the classroom. I am constantly feeling pressured to prove that I do have a right to be in AP classes or challenge classes. Nothing seems to make me as lively as surprising people with my capabilities. My pride consumes my entire being, swallowing me whole as I cannot seem to contain this lust. The hunger for verifying my place erupted at the age of ten, never dialing down as it chomps down my being still to this day.

I came to America at the age of one with refugees from Bosnia as parents who were only looking to try and establish a better life for our family. English was my first language; however, with Bosnian spoken more frequently than English at home, I began to confuse the two and struggle in school. At the start of first grade, I joined a program called English Language Learners. A teacher from that program would go to each one of my classes, go over the homework with me and make sure I would understand what was being taught. It was like having a ghost following my every move. I saw the program as being unneeded; I knew I struggled in school, but that did not mean I had to be babied throughout my schooling.

I continued this program until eighth grade, when I begged my mother to allow me to quit the program. She agreed after some persuasion. Many teachers and counselors were shocked at the thought of me dropping the program. “How will she do her homework on her own?” “How is a refugee going to understand this?”  I was told repeatedly by many to go back to the program even though my grades held up as I was averaging A’s and B’s all year around. I grew frustrated at the pushes from teachers and counselors, and I felt as if I was being denied of my abilities. Constantly being told I was not good enough deteriorated my being. I will forever be reminded of being compared to a refugee who is too dumb to understand.

Those elementary days haunt and influence my actions still to this day. I always want to shock people, prove my worthiness. Seeing the people around me stomp on myself esteem flicked a switch within me that continues to burn. Looking back and seeing how I was treated, it’s no wonder I am the way I am. Everyone has emotions that can be aroused by memories of their past; however, what differentiates people is what they decide to do with those feelings, grow or deteriorate from them. It’s a choice many people cannot commit an answer to, but I hope to be motivated to do so.

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