Serah Elise Almeyda

24 November 1997
Personal Statement 1

I’m 16 and applying for college: my mom was 16 and raising me. Until recently, I didn’t realize
how much that had impacted me in my life. Throughout my childhood I experienced instability
and insecurity, but most of all I learned what was important to me for my inauspicious future.

I never had a close relationship with anyone. With almost 10 different schools in my past I have
learned to move on and adapt to new environments. I’ve only had my mom and my brother, but
miles separated them both from me, especially during the custody battle between my mom and
my brother’s dad. During that time I was a fly on the wall, not recognized but watching
everything. It was that which led to my depression and struggle with mental health in middle
school until now.

The hardest thing about having a hard working mom is that I never wanted to bother her with
extra problems. I learned to conceal my emotions and ignore them. I went from being a straight-
A student to failing my best subject, Algebra. One of my best friends constantly put me down
and tried to compete with me, which created a monster perfectionist out of me, with horrible self-
esteem. Another friend taught me that I really was powerless and I couldn’t help her when she
ran away or passed out drunk in the school bathroom. To make things worse, for freshman year
my body belonged to a boy his marijuana-influenced mental state to grope and make
uncomfortable. While it happened I told myself it wasn’t a problem, but it was sexual harassment
at its finest. That experience taught me to speak up for myself and to stand up for others. I never
told my mom about these things. Some she would find out herself, as moms often do, and others
came up later when discovering why I had so many “issues.”

The desire for control over my life began my obsession with school. All of my insecurities and
negative energy were put into my goal to get a perfect attendance record and perfect, 4.0 GPA
report cards. If I was ever late to school I would cry and shake with anxiety, urging a very
concerned yet unsympathetic response from my mom. One day I decided that it was okay not to
be okay, and being perfect was not the most important thing in life. Since sophomore year I
began my journey of self-help and rejuvenation.

My mom taught me that I am alone in this world: that I cannot depend on anyone else and that
my future is in my hands only. She was alone living in Los Angeles and trying to raise a baby—
me—when she still had a lot to learn. I am living in Windsor, paving the road for my future and
taking advantage of all the opportunities my mother didn’t have growing up. Despite the constant
reminders that I am inferior, I continue to succeed and beat the odds.