At some point in life everyone feels inadequate.
When I joined my school track team I was tremendously excited to finally be a part of a sports squad. I was disappointed on the first day of practice to witness that I was light years behind my fellow teammates during the running exercises. It dawned on me that I would never be a star athlete. I am five foot four inches at seventeen years old and run an eight minute forty-three second mile!
Instead of quitting, I challenged myself to improve. With hard work and dedication I managed to stay on the team.
High school is a time of comparing ourselves to others. Peer pressure is fierce and questioning our personal worth is standard. Some things we can control, but many things we cannot.
For example, many of the students at my school arrive in brand new BMW and Mercedes Benz automobiles. My parents drive me to school but in my senior year, I will borrow my father’s Corolla for the commute. Some people would be ashamed to drive an old car. Instead of feeling inadequate, I take the words of Henry David Thoreau to heart: "It is not what you look at, but what you see". I don’t look at a car as a means of expressing a lavish and extravagant lifestyle provided to me by my parents. I see the used Toyota as a means of pragmatic transportation. When I consider the high maintenance fees of a BMW or Mercedes, my father’s Corolla is cooler.
Often students feel judged based on the wealth and prominence of their parents. Most teens have felt insufficient for something–being too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too poor, and even too rich. I won’t deny that there are indeed those who criticize others based on these factors. Rather than blame yourself for what you can't control, spend more time improving in areas that you can.
It is only normal, and perhaps healthy to feel inadequate at times as long as we don’t allow a car to define who we are or will be. If I don’t enjoy driving, I can always run.Senior Robbie Sadre is the co-creator of the Be the Star You Are!® Clubs at local high schools. He plays guitar in his free time.IN THE NEWS: Published Version