“I could relate to a Facebook post that said, ‘After working in group projects, I realized why Batman used to work alone.’ This was the first time I was asked to work in a group since coming to a new school. In my previous school, we usually did our projects on our own. Even if I had to participate in a group activity, I knew it wouldn’t be a herculean task as the environment was familiar. But I was in a new place with new faces all around.
I was taking time to settle down in my new all-girls school. I had yet to prove myself. I wanted to maintain the image that I had had in my previous school - that of a top student and a confident girl. This group project was proving a major setback to my plan. My group mates were counted among the favourites of the teachers. Naturally, I believed that they were good at what they did. So, I generally kept quiet, even when I was right. I constantly doubted and underestimated myself.
What bothered me was how my classmates would perceive me if I engaged in an intellectual conflict. I didn't assert myself. I had to spend another year with these classmates and I didn't want any confrontations. But this habit of mine had a detrimental effect on me as my confidence and self-esteem slumped. I constantly apologized even when I wasn’t at fault.
Eventually, my sisters made me understand that it was important to take a stand for myself. It was now or never. I did not want to become habitually quiet. I decided to speak up - not to prove them wrong but to put forth my point. I had to be assertive and stand up for myself.
I remember the first time I decided to stand with my point. I could feel my heart thumping. I felt like I was going to war or to a battlefield. I took a deep breath and said what I thought was right. They did listen to me and my opinion was acknowledged. My faith in myself was restored. The habit to lead was rekindled. I could now take a stand for what I believed in and thought was right. As for group projects, they don’t scare me now! ”