My School Day Memories
While other young grade-schoolers may remember happy, carefree days with their friends, I was extremely shy and barely talked to anyone. I excelled in taking exams and writing essays but did poorly in recitation and extracurricular activities. In short, I had many sad, lonely days in school although I never felt the need to stop attending my classes. I truly enjoyed studying and listening to class lectures. My school day memories are then filled with downs in terms of socialization before they became ups. I remember being insecure of myself and having no friends until I developed self-esteem through drawing and praying.
Initially, I was severely insecure and had problems making friends. When I looked at the mirror, I saw an unattractive, obese girl whose only consolation was hours of reading books. Science was my favorite subject. The moment I got my books during enrollment, I would devour my Science textbook first. Complex technical words failed to bother me as I would gladly look them up in my large red Merriam-Webster dictionary. Furthermore, the pictures in my beloved Science reference book, even in black and white, enthralled me. I wanted to ask my parents to buy an encyclopedia set once but decided to forego my fervent wish since I found them at the library. For every topic in Science, I scoured encyclopedias to learn more. As a result, I dedicated my time to becoming a nerd and isolated myself from my classmates. Still, I felt inferior because physically, I considered my countenance as ugly. Consequently, I declined playing with others and buried my head inside books most especially the world of Science. Books were my best friends while humans were not.
Despite enjoying my pursuit of knowledge, I experienced loneliness and sadness because of my low self-esteem until I discovered my knack for drawing. Having no friends was a sure recipe for miserable schooldays. My self-esteem plummeted additionally for each score of laughter I heard from people who enjoyed conversations with their friends. I thought, “I had no friends because I am unlikeable. I am ugly and nobody would want me as a friend.” Somehow, this affected my grades a little when I chose sleeping over studying. However, one day, as I looked at an image of a lovely swallow in my book, I decided to sketch it. The resulting output was similar to the one I copied. It was not a perfect replica but the closeness was good enough for me to think that I could draw and I did. I flitted from one page to another, drawing mostly animals such as birds, deer, and bears. I was ecstatic! I found that I could be good in something and when my classmates noticed, some of them talked to me and for the first time, I responded to them as I animatedly talked about my drawing process. From here, I made a few good friends who enjoyed drawing too.
Besides drawing, a life of prayer improved my sense of self as well. I studied at a Catholic school where an everyday mass could be attended at 6 am. I would leave the house at 5 am so I could be in each mass. Every time I attended the mass, I felt God’s grace. I realized that He could not have made me to be a gloomy young girl. I felt my self-esteem rise up through my faith in God and that He truly made all things beautiful in His image. I prayed frequently, several times a day, asking for His blessing and guidance until I became confident in myself. His love empowered me as a human being and I never again felt insecure.
My school day memories are far from others who had untroubled childhood. Beset with low self-esteem, I sorely lacked interpersonal skills. Nonetheless, I rose from this challenge through drawing and praying until I felt renewed by faith in myself and God. Soon, I developed the will to believe in my identity and found good friends. Such memories make me smile for I know that I was blessed and I still am, thanks to God who has never ever abandoned me and made me beautiful inside in His holy image.
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