Identity is an individual’s comprehension of him or herself. This course has helped me discover my sense of identity. In addition, it has changed me in subtle ways. Honestly, I am a very stubborn person. It is relatively hard to change my beliefs about something. Therefore, this course was a stepping-stone in the right direction. I have changed and developed my sense of identity in three different areas. The first area I have enhanced is my personal identity. To my knowledge, personal identity deals with questions about oneself. I hope I’m not being too vague.
It is obvious that everyone has questions they ask about themselves. However, personal identity is hard to understand for most. I researched personal identity and found that it asks questions about the basic principles of life. The second area I have better understanding in is my academic identity. I made great improvement in my studies throughout the semester. Finally, I have reached a greater knowledge of what cultural identity is and how I relate to others based on my sense of self. Culture is a patchwork of customs, languages, values, and world views that define social groups.
I’m going to start off by speaking about my personal identity. Shortly after arriving to Northern Illinois University I began to build up my personal identity. For the first time I came to realize who I was as a person and why I have been placed here at this university. To be honest, I can’t point out something in particular that helped develop my personal identity. There are many different causes for the way I am. For example, there is personal identity tied into my writing assignments from the past semester. I have always been doubted in my overall abilities.
My low self-esteem can be attributed to upbringing. I was always rewarded even when I didn’t accomplish my goals. Once I reached middle school things were much different. In eighth grade I started wrestling. I mentioned this in my personal narrative. People had doubts about my abilities before I ever stepped on a wrestling mat. These doubts fueled my will to win. I surprised the people who doubted my abilities. I was one of those people. Sports are not the only activities that bring out my low self-esteem. I have problems in the classroom as well. It takes me hours to write the simplest essay.
I can revise a paper five times and still be unsatisfied. In the past four years of high school my writing skills were never challenged. Therefore, I didn’t know if they were up to par. My school didn’t prepare me for college writing. I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to perform well in my first English course of college. It is a shock that I’m achieving such a great deal. The diverse types of papers I have been assigned account for part of my success. The second thing that has helped me throughout this first semester is the amount of advice and applaud I have received.
I’m able to write a paper without completely focusing on my flaws. Overall, this course has taught me that I can write papers, decent papers. Also, it has raised my self-esteem and made me realize that I do have a purpose. If I didn’t have a purpose then I wouldn’t be at this fine university. It has changed my writing style as well. I’m not good at dealing with my emotions and personal feelings orally. The song analysis brought out some of my strong feelings about religion. The song analysis connected to my form of personal identity. I also owe credit to my counselor who helped me through last few months.
He told me to fight off my demons one by one. It was the only way to find my true character. I developed my academic identity quite a long time ago. I’ve always set high standards for myself. Most parents set standards for their children’s grades. Conversely, my parents never punished me if I performed badly on a test or finished a semester with an average grade. Many of my friends are disciplined if they receive anything less than a perfect or near perfect grade point average at the end of a semester. Therefore, my parents have helped form my academic identity.
I was in charge of my studying. I was never told that I needed to study. This helped me become mature very fast. My writing skills were broadened once I reached high school. I can definitely see improvements that I have made. The weekly writing assignments have helped tremendously. In high school I rarely wrote papers. I have seen improvements in my grammar, organization, and style. My writing seems to flow much better than it did. It was through the smaller assignments that I gained a better understanding of myself as a writer. I know what I need to do to receive a good grade.
Writing is easily connected to academic identity. Writing can determine what kind of student you are. My friend Andrew found out through his English 103 instructor that he could make a screenplay writer. Everyone has a different academic identity. Everyone finds their identity differently. I’m going to end by covering my cultural identity. Cultural identity was the hardest sense of identity to develop. Also, to me it is the hardest of my identities to put into words. I have lived in Fulton, Illinois for my entire life. The population of Fulton was 3881 at the 2000 census.
There isn’t a lot of diversity in my hometown. I believe 98% of the residents are white. Northern Illinois University is a completely different story. There are great amounts of diversity here in DeKalb. Diversity is everywhere. English 103 has brought to my attention where I stand against other people. The internet censorship debate split the class into four groups. However, people that were in the same groups may have had different opinions than each other. Before I wrote my internet censorship paper I asked myself where I stood on this issue. I didn’t conform to others ideas.
I chose what I wanted to say about the issue. I’m not afraid to be different. Culture is a way of life for an entire society. For example, in the United States of America it is customary to shake hands when we great one another. Society characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive culture. I’m not quite sure how I fit in with society. However, every paper I wrote reflected a little bit of my culture. My cultural identity has been changed slightly. Overall, the assignments in this class explored a different part of my culture each week.
This course has taught me more than any other. It has helped me find my personal, academic, and cultural identity. I’m glad I was able to explore identity through the assignments I have completed. College has changed my whole perception of identity. The diversity here was a shock at first. However, I adjusted fairly easily. I learned who I was as a person. I looked into my academic struggles and successes over the years. Finally, I learned about my cultural views. I owe my success in writing to my parents, friends, classmates, and Ms. Townsend. I have found Jonathan Harris.