zeeconomist 6 / 19 4 Dec 24, 2014 #1I am slightly over the 300 word limit. Please do tell me where I can cut down and generally, how the essay sounds. Thanks!--Growing up, I was a quiet child. I would keep to myself, do what the teacher said, and study hard. Gradually, I found myself forced into a box, a box of who I was supposed to be. Based off of my behavior, people expected me to study and be boring. I was labelled an introvert. Having heard Susan Cain speak on 'The Power of Introverts', I realize that introverts play an important role in society. However, my quietness was not because of introvertism but, rather, because I was shy.I lead two different lives - quiet and reserved at school; fun and outgoing at home. Stepping out of the box was a slow process. Weirdly enough, I felt obligated to conform to other people's expectations of who I was - stepping outside meant I would disappoint them.Getting involved in activities of interest peeled off the layers of shyness I had clothed myself with. Model UN (MUN) started the process. Discussing matters like that of refugees, in comparison, made the box of who I was, a minor issue. Temporarily leaving the box behind, I thoroughly engaged myself and spoke what I believed should be done. After a conference, though, I would return to the box of expectation.MUN pointed me to debate. Here, I was introduced to logic, argumentation and the concept of 'purpose.' By assessing the purpose of an institution, one could argue for or against a topic. I began to realize that my purpose - to use my ability to its fullest - whether to speak, to play the drums, or to make people laugh, was restricted by conforming to people's expectation.Eventually, people's pre-conceived ideas of me stopped mattering and I forgot about the box of expectation. I realize individuals are far too complex to neatly be placed in convenient boxes. Whenever stereotypes do rear its ugly face at me - in conversation or in action- I am quick to point out. Identifying the problem is the first step to healing.