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Essay: The concept of identity

This is an essay I wrote in Secondary Three, two years ago, for an Oracy task. I would like to share it with everyone today.

Everyone has a distinguishing character or personality, unique to each individual. 

Identity encompasses the memories, experiences, relationships, and worth that produce one’s sense of embodiment. This amalgamation spawns a steady discernment of who one is over time, even as recent facets are developed and incorporated into one's identity.

What makes up a teenager’s identity? Some of the main factors that shape the identity of teenagers are their family, friends, culture, and even their idols.

What are some key influences that have shaped this identity?

Most, if not all teenagers will be under the influence of their parents in their early childhood. This experience will be different from everyone, thus, they are also brought up differently. This leads different individuals to have different values, and thus character or personality. 

Another influence is their family and cultural backgrounds. 

For example, highly educated parents are more likely to read to their children, enhancing early literacy skills and building foundational content knowledge from an early age. When interacting with their children, educated parents pose more questions, employ a more complex vocabulary, and give fewer orders. The benefits of these formative interactions accumulate, such that by age three, children whose parents receive public assistance have heard approximately one-third fewer words than their counterparts in higher-income families in which the parents are likely to have higher levels of educational attainment. Thus, this creates a difference between different teenagers of different family backgrounds as it causes the teenagers to have different interests and ambitions. Teenagers that are from more affluent family backgrounds usually aim for jobs that are more prestigious than other teenagers.

Although identity is shaped by external factors, it is not possible for two different individuals, even identical twins. This is due to their own personal innate predisposition, such as their own beliefs, and their interests.

The different roles I take on are being a student, being an elder brother, being a son et cetera.

Most of the values that I am guided by comes from my parents, such as being fair to everyone, and showing empathy towards others. I also learnt how to respect others regardless of their backgrounds.

Some qualities that define me are thinking rationally, and being able to organize a team when needed.

I believe my perception of who I am is largely the same with how others perceive me as. To confirm this, I asked some of my friends to give their opinion on my qualities. Some of the more common answers are pragmatic, helpful and honest.

My identity is different from other teenagers due to the memories, experiences, relationships that I have, that are unique to me.

(442 words)


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