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Identity Crisis

By Angela Luo

In a school with almost 3000 students, I often scramble to find my own niche. I find myself feeling like a speck of dust among the thousands of other points on this graph. There’s the Math Club, the Writing Club, the Spanish Club, and that one teacher who still doesn’t know my name, and it’s already the 5th week of school — my calendar is about to burst at its seams and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to catch all of its pages if it does.

Haunting me is the constant tick-tick-tick of my internal clock that every so often jumps in my face and waves this huge sign around screaming, “COLLEGE!” Being a junior, I’m in what colleges deem the “most crucial year of high school.” Worse is the constant pressure that my Asian parents put – no, have put on me since middle school. Their influence is ingrained in my blood, and though I may not live with a tiger mom, I definitely live with an owl mom who keeps hooting statistics at me about the average SAT scores of Yale acceptances.

So on top of Community Club and Piano Lessons and Art Class, I have SAT Prep classes to attend. Which is great, except that somewhere during the drive to dance practice I must have lost my driver’s license because I can’t seem to remember who I am – or, well, who I was.

Was I ever a happy-go-lucky girl with no cares in the world? When was the last time I had hung out with friends, gone to the movies, done what a normal American teenage would do? Why were my weekends busier than my weekdays? More importantly, what was I doing and what was I going to do with my life? My insecurities have only been building up, waiting for the bomb to drop.

And it happens every time my family goes to one of those big Chinese potlucks. I am asked the same two questions: “What do you want to major in?” and “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer to both is: “I don’t know.”

And that’s the truth, really. I don’t know. I don’t know where I want to go to for college. I don’t know what kind of career I want to pursue. Essentially, I don’t exactly know who I am either. The aunties at the potluck seem to sense this as they pat my cheek and tell me that it’s okay. But is it? I feel as if everyone else seems to have determined goals and I’m just floating around, playing what if and maybe. I feel as if I’m crumbling into an abyss of unknown and there won’t be anything or anybody to save me. Only, my clock is ticking faster. It’s getting louder.

Tick-tick-tick.

I just hope I’ll have time to find myself. I’ll have to retrace my steps back to dance practice.

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