What is your Identity?

Mikaile Ford (Kai), Staff Writer

When we think of the word Identity what do we normally think? Identity can be multiple things. I will use my own personal experience as an example. When we think of our identity we think age, name, and maybe gender, but identity can pertain to multiple things associated with your being. My identity or identities would all be different, but correct. I am Mikaile Ford a senior at Santiago High School, but I am also Mikaile Ford a transgender track athlete, and Mikaile Ford a volunteer for the National Charity League Corona Chapter. 

Figuring out my identity made me more confident in who I am and encouraged lots of self-love.


Personally it took me a lot of time to develop at least an idea of who I was or wanted to be. When I was younger I thought I’d be Mikaile Ford, an African American female scientist. Then, I thought I’d be Mikaile Ford, a modern Lusia Harris, who was the first woman to be in the NBA. I also even believed I’d be the modern Sarah Thomas, who was the first woman in the NFL. As I grew and matured I learned that my own identity was flawed. I discovered my true gender identity, which changed my view on my identity as a whole. Now when I think of how I hope to identify, I think of future Kai or Mikaile Ford the civil rights attorney with his own law firm. Knowing your identity is beneficial to guiding your future to success. By discovering who I was and having an idea of what my identity may be, I’ve gained confidence for the future. This is important in getting jobs, meeting new and interesting people, being secure with yourself, and eventually owning your own life. When you truly understand your own identity, will you be able to discover what path in life you were meant to take.

In an article published on December 11th, 2019 by author Josh Watson titled, “Why is Teen Development Important?”, he speaks on the importance of teenagers developing their identities. He claims “Identity refers to one’s sense of as an individual and how they define themselves in terms of values, beliefs, and role in the world,” while also identifying the impact self-identity development has on the developing minds of teenagers. He also mentions the fact that “Identity formation in teens is about developing a strong sense of self, personality, connection to others and individuality. Therefore, a positive teen self-identity is vital because it shapes a teen’s perception of belonging not just for their teen years but for most of their adult life.” Without the comfort of identity development as a teenager, this could lead to serious identity issues as an adult such as codependency or the lack of ability to come up with things on your own so you depend on others to make those decisions for you. Without being able to form a belief of your own, you will become conflicted as you bandwagon on other people’s likes and dislikes, beliefs and dis beliefs, trying to pass them off as your own. This codependency will only lead to lack of self-love and self-worth, as well as confusion within yourself.

To conclude my article, I hope the people who read this; teenagers, parents, teachers, etc, gain an understanding of the importance of teenage development. Developing who you are, what you like and don’t like, personality traits that might describe you, and other characteristics about yourself, this can lead to complicated identity issues in the future. I challenge readers to figure out what makes you you, even if it’s not what you think others will be able to accept.