brianalevett 1 / 2 1 Nov 28, 2016 #1Becoming More IndependentMy time is limited and I have come to a realization that I cannot live another individual's life. For many of my early teenage years, I suffered from listening to the clamor of others' opinions which ultimately drowned out my own inner voice. There were times where I felt as though I could not connect with the inner spirit that dwelled inside of me and who she identified herself as. Voices. Ringing inside my head. Would I ever get a break? Would I ever be capable of exploring my own thoughts? I felt trapped inside my own body. Trying to build up the courage to fulfill my own desires seemed like a dream that would never come true. From the demands and expectations of my parents, teachers, and peers, the subtle fight for my own independence has truly been a struggle.In my freshman and sophomore years of high school, the fear of rejection, the fear of being alone, and the fear of the future made it difficult to be autonomous. However, in my junior and senior years, I have gradually gained independence by understanding where my own priorities truly lie. No longer do I feel the need to rely on my counterparts for validation and the feeling of being accepted. The more open I became to interacting with others, the more I found my voice, and learned to express myself in a clear and concise manner; I sought to hold myself accountable for success through public speaking and leadership roles. Undertaking various leadership roles such as being apart of the Link Crew and Peer Mediation program have allowed me the courage to follow my heart and intuition, and ultimately discover my self confidence.The challenge of becoming more independent has affected my academic achievement in a positive manner. Because I exercised the power to make my own decisions, my independence grew, and eventually I was doing many things independent from my core group of friends because I knew what steps to take in order to succeed and be prepared for college. Those particular steps entail studying hard to maintain a high GPA and working hard to gain my involvement in the San Diego Delta Leadership Development Program and Girl Scouts of America. The Leadership Development Intern Program is a three-year program that utilizes an exceedingly selective interviewing and selection process to select a maximum of 20 "high-achieving" high school (Grades 10 - 12) girls in the community.