“It’s always there. It can be overwhelming."
Pressure. It’s always been a part of my life. It’s like a shadow that follows you around all day reminding you what you haven’t done and what you need to do next. It’s also a generational thing. My parents want my generation to be better than theirs and my grandparents wanted my parents’ generation to be better than theirs. So it’s always there, telling me to push myself a little harder.
I have a strong, supportive family, which I recognize is a lot different than it is for a number of my peers. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had struggles in my life. Like I said, the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming at times. That’s when I realize how important my family’s support is when it comes to accomplishing my goals.
For now, the pressure I’m under means a lot of sacrifice. Instead of going out with friends and having fun, I have to be home studying. And down time isn’t something I get very often, writing a paper or preparing for an exam come first. Plus, I tend to stress out over grades all the time!
Some of my biggest upsets during high school have been centered on my grades. When I transferred schools last year, my GPA went down. I was so devastated, I felt like I had failed. It took me a while to realize that I was being too hard on myself.
Besides the pressure to succeed, I also feel like I am constantly dealing with peer pressure. Friends often want me to do the wrong things. Things I have tried hard to avoid. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of this. But I’ve finally learned that it’s okay to be different and not be part of the “in” crowd, then to be involved with things that aren’t good for me.
It seems like On Point has always been present in my life. My grandfather has been an educator with them for many years and has always encouraged me to get involved. I went to the annual banquet On Point held during the spring of my eighth-grade year. There, I met some of the Teen Board members and they seemed really genuine—I was intrigued.
I’ve been a member of the Board for 3 years now and I really love it. My peers have been so supportive. It’s nice to be surrounded by people who want to build you up and respect your decisions. I really value their friendship and support.
The way I see it, you don’t have to grow up with tremendous disadvantage to have a story. I’ve been lucky to have supportive people all around me, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with things along the road. But thanks to my family and organizations like On Point, traveling that road has been a lot easier.
Kianna is involved in Girls Inc., a community that empowers girls to pursue their dreams. She also plays competitive tennis and is a nursery school teacher at her church. Kianna would like to attend Vanderbilt, Hampton College, MTSU or Spelman in Atlanta when she graduates. She is planning on becoming a neonatologist, a physician that cares for newborns with health problems.
Motto: Make smart decisions
|Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 09:40|