Life Span Interview Essay

Total Length: 727 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 1

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Life Span interview: Ms. W

Ms. W said that when she was young she was forced to take on many additional responsibilities when her father died young, leaving her mother with three young children to raise. Ms. W said that her mother was highly stressed and that she often had to take on many obligations, such as watching her younger siblings when her mother was away from work. She knew that her mother loved her but her home life was frequently unpredictable because sometimes her mother would lash out in anger. Ms. W said that she did have some close female friends but she often felt shut out of her circle of friends when they teased her or gossiped behind her back. She found it easier to make friends with boys, playing sports, rather than to navigate the difficult social territory of female friendship.

Ms. W said that she felt very insecure as a young woman and unsure if other people liked her although she did get good grades. She said that her adolescent identity was primarily that of a helper. She would listen to the confidences of her female friends and she would try to be kind and accommodating if people needed assistance as a way of ensuring that she did have people around her who cared about her. She said that in retrospect she felt her kindness was frequently taken advantage of and that people did not really respect her. Although she wanted to be liked she said that she did not really trust her high school friends. Ever since she was young Ms. W said that she had been a people pleaser.
Because money was a difficult issue she was afraid to ask her mother for anything and frequently the response was "no."

Her mother frequently confided in her and Ms. W found it difficult to sleep as an adolescent because she was so worried about her mother's adult responsibilities, including making enough money to pay for the house or to send her children to college. Ms. W felt very isolated from her friends because she did not have as many nice clothes, a nice house, or family security. When engaged in group projects in school, she was often the person who would volunteer to do more of the project. Still, she felt inferior because she believed she was not as smart as some of the students in the most difficult classes at her school and described herself as a dutiful student who tried hard rather than someone who was intelligent. She tended to be quiet and go along with the flow and the times that she was caught doing bad things (such as when she was at a party that got out of control), it tended to be because she had gone along with her peers for fear of sticking out, rather than out of a desire to be bad.

Ms. W had wanted to go away to college but instead was forced to commute to a school nearby for her first year to save money. Still, in college she found herself becoming more apt to take an initiative and became more involved in several student organizations, volunteered, and came out of….....

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