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Basic integrity could be understood in several ways. The way I see it regards
personality, values, moral standards, upbringing,everythingthat conforms our psyche
inside the body of any person. In this particular case, inside thebody ofateenager. I
believe that nobody totally lacks integrity, maybe some young people willmiss outon
integrity in someaspects. One ofthe problemsI've beenable to noticeasaseventeen
year old girlfromMexicoCityisthelackofintegritythatsomeyoungpeopleshowtoday
in certain ethical dilemmas,such as thestruggle for "belonging"to a particularly"cool"
Often acceptance we run the risk of losing ourselves by trying to become
someone we are not in reality, we make big efforts to be like the rest of the crowd.
There have been many events that made me open my eyes throughout my
adolescence. One ofthem wasmy first partywith boysand girlsat the end of seventh
grade. Having attended a Catholic school just for girls, for me, to go to my first party

I remember the great excitement Ifelt.When Igot there, I was surprisedto see
thatitwas not what Iexpected. Someof my friends from school, which Iconsideredto
begood girls, werekissingguystheydid not even know,smoking,drinkingheavilyand
even dancing inappropriately. That day I went home with a lump in my throat,
disappointedand especiallyscared. Ifoundithardto believethat myfriendswereable
to act in such a way as to lose their composure and dignity. That sleepless night, I
realized I didnot wanttobethatkindofgirl.Irealizedthatintegrityisachoice. Evenifit
makes partsof my lifeharder, evenifitmeansnottofitin,evenifitrequiresmoreeffort
than Ithink.I chose it. Ipromisedmyselfneverto actagainst myvalues, myprinciples
andideals. Overtheyears, myparentshavemadeparticulareffortstoteachmehowto
be a woman who puts moral values ahead of obtaining certain advantages by going
againstwhat Ibelievein. That is the reason whyI am abletoanalyzethisproblemina
deeperway.Theunseenelementinthisproblemisthatteenagersaretrying tofindtheir
true identity inside a society where many people keep double standards according to

the advantageous situations for them, and this is very misleading for young people.
Teenagers create falseidentitiesbecause theybasicallybelieve:"WhoIamisnotgood
enough to be liked by others." This initiates a life of pretendingto besomebodyelse,
playingdifferent roles under the same name.Whatteensfailtorealizeisthatwedonot
need to pretend tobe someone else, or hide from otherswho wereally are inorderto
beaccepted. My ideaorstrategytofacethisdilemmaissimple:Iremindmyselfthatmy
true value is not diminished by the opinion the others have of me. I think there is so
much honor, integrity and beauty in being able to be who we are. This applies in all
aspects of our life: at home with our family, in loving and friendly relationships, at
school, in future college experiences, and work opportunities. With integrity, we can
Today,I amproud tosaythat four yearsagoIhadthehonorofbeingnominated
for and I won the Integra Mulier Award, the most important prize in my past school
Oxford Bachillerato. Integrais Latin for"whole" or "entire," andMuliermeans"woman."
This title isawarded to theone girloftheentireschoolthatputshereffortsin educating
hermindand heartinaccordancetoherprinciples,whousesherqualitiesandtalentsto
their full potential and knows how to reflect on the truth transmitting it to others with
conviction and courage. Being the winner of that prize was more than just having a
fancy medal, deepinmymind,Icametorealizetwothings:thismedalistheproofthatI
am fulfillingthepromiseI made tomyself, andI wantedthismedaltobemorethanjust
atoken of honor.I wanttousethisprizeasa motivationtoinspireotherstomakesome