Many adults would agree that junior high was probably the most difficult time period while growing up. However, not any of it had to do with academics. Showing up each day with all the social pressures awkwardness is what made those years dreadful. Frankly, a lot of us wouldn’t go back even if we were paid!
It’s tough even reliving all the things we felt and experienced while in junior high school. So, can you imagine your seventh-grade self talking about them in front of a packed classroom? Nope, not me.
One seventh-grader actually had the courage to deliver a powerful poem she’d written in front of her peers.
Olivia Vella was a student at Queen Creek Middle School in Arizona. During the spring, her writing teacher gave out an assignment to create an end-of-year poem, and then recite it in class. But instead of choosing an “easy topic,” Olivia decided to do the opposite.
The seventh-grader’s poem asks ‘Why am I not good enough?’ and it touches upon some very real-life issues.
For a whole six minutes, Olivia delivers her poem that takes listeners through a day in her shoes. She describes the numerous pressures simply getting ready for school – like selecting an outfit that follows trends, just to not become more of a “laughing stock.”
“Every part of your outfit is uncomfortable, but even though you spend hours trying to look pretty, you will never be as good as those other girls at school.”
Not only are Olivia’s words full of emotion, but her delivery is too.
In the video, Olivia bravely pours her heart out to her classmates in her poem that questions, ‘Why am I not good enough?’ She speaks of what it’s like being at school and dealing with judgment, criticism, and envy. She speaks about her plummeting self-esteem, negative thoughts, and describes a racing mind.
For several minutes, it’s an eye-opening look into the world of many adolescents.
“You look at other girls wishing you were them, but other girls are looking at you wishing they were you.”
Olivia’s writing teacher, Brett Cornelius, told ABC News that the other students were “in awe.”
Her poem powerfully ends:
“But society is wrong. You are loved, you are precious, you are beautiful, you are talented, you are capable, you are deserving of respect, you can eat that meal, you are one in seven billion. And most of all, you are good enough.”
The seventh-grader amazed her teacher and classmates that day. After the video was uploaded to the internet, others were blown away too.
“filled with raw passion, fear, vulnerability and immense courage, has caused a worldwide rippling effect, and I’m so proud of her. She’s steering this ship of self-love, and I’m proud to call her my captain and hero.”
Olivia’s video has been watched millions and millions of times online. The YouTube version below has over a million “likes.” She told ABC News:
“The reaction to the video shows I am not alone. We are not alone in how we feel.”
Press play below to enjoy Olivia’s powerful and heart-tugging poem. Just know you might need a tissue!
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