Be Yourself

Rachel - Etowah, North Carolina
Entered on April 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in being your own person.

I have never quite understood why people-especially teenagers-feel the need to conform. What’s wrong with being ourselves? Sure, everyone loves to fit in. It makes things much easier. But if changing my opinions, beliefs or actions is the way I have to go about doing it, then forget it. In the long run, it can’t be worth much.

It’s understandable to have different interests or talents than your peers, and I think that’s what make us all unique. Since the sixth grade, I have been involved in my school’s band. Occasionally I get called a “Band Geek” or a “nerd.” It doesn’t bother me. Playing the clarinet is an important part of my life. So while some people are off wondering about how sexy they look, I’m playing incredible music with my fellow “Band Geeks.” If other people cannot respect that then that is their problem.

Sometimes it is difficult not to be judgmental about people who would do absolutely anything to be like everyone else. It is hard to see why someone’s quality as a person is judged by how expensive their clothes are or how high their friends rank on the “awesome scale.”

Being in Middle school can be pretty stressful. That’s why I make sure that I stay inside of my comfort zone. With all the homework assignments, reading, essays, and sports that continuously occupy our young minds, I think that fitting in or not fitting in should be one less problem to fret about. Now, I am not saying that we should be able to act totally ignorant and weird, because that can get obnoxious, but I do believe that we should steer away from the “clone lifestyle.”

I have noticed that a lot of high school students feel the same way I do about this whole “Fitting in” thing and have stopped trying to impress others. Maybe they have realized it can be a major waste of time. A lot of these people are very popular for being themselves anyway. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be popular for being funny or kind, rather than rich or socially important. If being true to myself doesn’t get me all the “cool friends”, or the invitation to the “hottest party”, then it’s seriously no big deal. At least I will be happy with myself and feel generally comfortable with whom I am as a human being.