Be Yourself

Nesiba - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on March 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When I came to the United States from Bosnia, I was only 7 years old. It wasn’t easy for me to make friends, communicate, and to fit it since I didn’t know any English. After a while , I learned how to speak English, and it became easier to communicate and make friends. At that time when I was young I would always remember my parents telling me, “Nemoj radi sta drugi rade, idi svojim pravcu,” meaning not to follow what others and hat they do, but to create my own path. I never really understood why they would always tell me that until just recently.

I’ve learned as people get older, they go through many different experiences. One of those experiences is simply choosing who your friends are and choosing what path to follow. I’ve also learned that people change a lot. People will always change because they’re learning to grow, and they’re trying to figure out who they are. For example, as I was growing up in America, I did follow what the other kids did to seem “cooler” and have more friends. I was afraid to be myself because I was in a whole different country from Bosnia, and I didn’t know what was considered “cool” and what wasn’t. As I grew older and older I became sick of acting fake. It just wasn’t me and I couldn’t take it anymore. I stopped caring what others thought of me and I’ve grown into realizing that being a fake is not who I want to be, and being myself was much more important.

There are so many people in today’s society who want to fit in, who want to have friends, and be a part of some group. A lot of times because of that, they end up creating a whole different person that’s not real. People should never have to fake who they are so they can impress someone. They should find someone who will accept them the way they are and be their friend because of that. There are too many fake people around us and sometimes, I often wonder if my own friends are really being themselves.

All in all, there are always going to be people who try to act like someone they’re not. It’s easy to be a follower, but it takes a lot to become a leader. People should be who they are because when they’re not, they aren’t being true to themselves. It was difficult for me to be myself because people these days want you to be more like them and do things they do. I got tired of being a follower and as a result, I lost some friends because I choose to follow my own path. In the end I’ve realized those people weren’t my friends, they were just holding me back and in the end it was all worth it.