What is My Identity and What are My Concerns?

Posted by Delaney B. Michigan
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How I address what my identity is and what my concerns are, as well as how they are connected to my American Creed.

When I think of my identity, I think of how I define myself depending on who I am with or where I am, mentally and physically (but mostly mentally), at in that specific time. I also think of how much I want to explain or how much that specific person wants to know about me. In short, I am a female high school junior in Michigan who is sociable and considerate. But when discussing who I am in depth, I am a straight Italian female who advocates for equal rights and intersectionality, a liberal or democrat, a high school student, a moderately fluent Spanish speaker, a hard-worker, a fluctuating procrastinator, a future orthodontist, a citizen in Michigan, caring, affectionate, emotional, friendly, and witty; this list could go on of things that describe me. These characteristics and things that describe me what make up of my identity.

Because of the characteristics I have and my identity as a whole, my concerns often vary on social issues and what is most important to me to what is bothering my in that specific time, making a large spectrum that not even I am sure how to define. On a small scale, some of my concerns include how much homework I have on my plate and how my grades will look at the end of this school year, how I will soon have to apply to college and make some of the most important decisions in regards to determining my future, and how I haven’t seen some of my closest friends in an extensive period of time because of our abnormal schedules. For me, an overload of the smaller concerns can be overwhelming and can either determine whether or not I am more hard-working or procrastinating, which connects directly to my identity. On a large scale, my concerns mainly revolve around the direction our country and society are more likely to pave and how that will affect the generations to come, the social injustices to minorities, such as African-Americans and the LGBT community, how technology has benefited but also negatively impacted our society, especially younger generations, and how many people in our society have failed to recognize pressing issues and how to resolve them, such as mass shootings and the issue of gun misusage, unequal wages based on race or gender, and the positive and negative effects of the way our current education system is set up.

I face the circumstances of these pressing issues myself, as I have been prepared and trained on the protocol during a shooting, I witness the endless amount of media coverage on the mass shootings in schools; watching the students of Columbine dangle from windows as their only escape from the chaos, listening to the voicemails of victims in the bathroom during the Pulse nightclub shooting and thinking how easily this could become my reality. I watch deliverance of thoughts and prayers rather than legal action. I realize how our education system is a one to keep us silent and to listen to the authority, even when it does not benefit the students, but still, encourage students to ask questions and earn a proper education. As it is known, these systems have many flaws that people have noticed that go beyond this very essay.

While many people are different in the characteristics that define us or how we choose to identify, we often times share similar concerns based on the issues that are most prevalent in the society that we are raised in and the society of today. protests, of gun rights, of equal human rights, and a government that has become a vicious system against minorities, such as immigrants, LGBTQ+ members, and many others. We as a whole society need to set aside our differences and focus on our similarities in order to amend and enhance these preexisting systems, which would better humankind. Likewise, while each person has their own creed (a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions) based on personal experiences, we must come together to focus on how we can better our ever-changing society and to adapt to our ever-changing surroundings, better our Creed, as individuals and as a whole society. Looking in depth at our individual identities and looking at our personal concerns are crucial to to recognize our strengths and weaknesses as well as address the most pressing issues first, but we will only progress if we look past our differences and come to work together; to both better humankind and to better our Creed(s).

Published on Jun 6, 2018
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Writing Our Future: American Creed is part of the National Writing Project’s family of youth publishing projects, all gathered under the Writing Our Future initiative.

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