Fear Is My Superpower
By Lorena De La Rosa
This piece reflects on my bravery on how no matter how scared I was to do something, I always went for it. Fear has become my superpower and has helped me grow and see how strong I am.
Regardless of its Merriam Webster definition of “a strong unpleasant feeling caused by being aware of danger or expecting something bad to happen.” For me, fear is a good thing. It gives me the ability to do the things I’m utterly terrified to do.
I have always had a fear of speaking in front of big groups, but one day in Boston was different. A group of students from my school had taken a trip to visit colleges and to meet Margaret Marshall, a prominent jurist in Massachusetts and a South African activist. She was interviewed by a journalist about her life’s journey before an audience of about 50 people and at the end there was an opportunity to ask her a question. I was very inspired by her story and had the question I wanted to ask her already written down. I stood up regardless of everyone watching me, and asked Ms. Marshall how I could change the world as she did. I felt so proud of myself!
Throughout junior year, I joined a program at Rockefeller University where I developed the skills I would need to work in a lab. Toward the end of the academic program, my group and I had to present our proposal about how the world would benefit from plastic-eating bacteria. I was nervous because I would have to speak in front of a room full of scientists, but I was very passionate about my proposal. So even though I was scared, I pushed myself to be strong and speak with confidence. I was then chosen for the summer portion of the program where I worked at the Tavazoie Metastasis Biology and Gene Regulation lab and learned about the importance of molecular cloning. At the end of the program I had to present the experiment I had done with my mentor. I was still worried about making a mistake even if I had done this before, but I was well prepared and I did it.
This year as a senior, I am in AP computer science and I can see how much I have grown from sophomore year to now. During sophomore year I took my first coding elective and I was afraid because I had no idea what to expect. I struggled with understanding the concepts and how to write code efficiently. At the end of the school year I received a 65, and I was upset that I didn’t master the class. I decided to try again next year. When I retook the class junior year, I still struggled with understanding how to code but I did my best. I asked questions, went to tutoring, and did practice problems online. When I received a 70 at the end of the semester, I was proud of myself because, even though it wasn’t such a good grade, I knew I had tried my best and had not given up. I can now write code efficiently and fully understand how important computer science is to society.
Fear doesn’t give me the power to fly or the ability to laser beam a villain but it has driven me to accomplish things I never believed I could do. Fear has given me the power to face challenges and knock down any barriers in my way. Fear has allowed me to see what a warrior I am.
Lorena De La Rosa is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Bronx, NY.