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Psychology Experience Essay

When I was eight years old, one night, I made rice, eggs, and cucumber soup and peeled and cut some fruit and had the table set with “dinner” for my parents. “Look Mom! I made you dinner!” I excitedly told her. I remember she walked over and hesitantly tasted a few things, and then saying loudly, “This doesn’t taste right! This plate shouldn’t be here!” She criticized my cooking and performance so badly I decided hated cooking. Since then, I’ve told myself I can’t cook and I’ve never tried to either.

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In fifth grade when I took a test, I got my first “conscious” C letter grade. I say “conscious” because before then, it didn’t matter—I had A’s and B’s and C’s equally and that seemed fine. But that school year (and for many school years following), C’s and anything lower were not allowed. While B’s were “ok,” it was still looked down upon—the way my dad would look at me, nose wrinkled and disappointed. I cried about the “C-” in red at the top of my test that day. While I didn’t have to show my parents the grade, I was guilty—I was an accomplished failure. My parent’s expectations for me were too much and I didn’t know whether I could accomplish them, or mines, so, I decided unconsciously from the beginning to fail.

The summer before my senior year in high school, my history teacher, who also happens to teach AP Government, gave me the textbook for the class (AP Government) to read over the summer. He gave it to me because I asked him to. I wanted to pass the class and I knew that since I would be taking other AP courses as well, I would need some extra time to familiarize myself with the course and perhaps get a head start. But, that summer, I never once looked into the book. It collected dust on my desk, while I hung out with friends when perhaps I should’ve been studying. Well, when school started, I ended up pretty much nearly failing the class that first semester and having to transfer to a regular Government class, just so I could graduate—and even the, I barely missed the mark of being held back.

I didn’t plan to attend City College. I wanted to attend a University; I wanted to get my Bachelor’s degree. But, I felt discouraged and never tried to and the idea of a Bachelor’s degree dissolved into an Associate’s degree. I figured I was just going to end up married with children and that a quick and easy degree was the thing for me—incase I got a deadbeat husband and I had to support the kids and myself on my own. My teacher convinced me to attend City College to transfer to a University and graduate with a BA—which I had previously thought would not be possible after nearly failing to graduate from high school. My teacher believed in me. I wish I had as much faith in me as she did. And I wished that my parents would show me some faith.

Prior to reading this article, I suspected self-defeating behavior was my problem, but I was in denial about it. I think I can’t cook because my mother criticized my cooking, so, it was easier for me to convince myself that I couldn’t than to try to cook and have my fragile self-esteem perhaps placed where everyone else can criticize. This is also the reason why in fifth grade, I unconsciously decided to fail in life. My problem is passive self-defeating and a high anxiety of failing. I did that with my AP Government class and my whole college career as well; I cheated myself out of going to a University just in case I should fail. So, I took the spring semester off this year, and I decided to start “fresh” this summer. I don’t know why I decided to take psychology 2, but I’m glad I did. It’s probably the best class to start off on.

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