Alyx - Collierville, Tennessee
Entered on September 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in individuality. I think everyone should express themselves unafraid of what others think. I have learned this skill from the other side. When I was in middle school, it was my greatest wish to be popular, and that meant being exactly like everyone else. I had to forget my own preferences, personality, and style and be like the other popular girls. At the time it was the fashion to have this one purse from the mall. It was small and black, fake leather, with your first initial on the bottom left corner. Everyone who was anyone had this purse. And I wanted to be one of them. So I immediately made my mom drag me to the mall to get one. But I could only find the ones with the green initial, not pink like everyone else had.

“I need this purse!” I told my mom frantically. When she asked why I told her, “Because everyone else has one.”

“That doesn’t sound like you at all,” she replied. And I knew that she was right. I realized that this mall-crazy, fashion savvy chick wasn’t me. I was the weird outspoken kid with no style. This person I was acting like was everyone but me.

But not everyone was lucky enough to have this mental slap in the face like I did. Everyday walking through the halls I see girls and guys looking and acting exactly like each other, afraid to be themselves. A lot of the time I can’t even tell them apart.

The first step to individuality is knowing who you are or who you want to be. Be yourself and don’t be afraid to show it. If you’re abnormally smart, don’t hide it! If you love to listen to oldies music instead of pop, listen to it! Be unafraid. Be unruled by others standards.

Most people think that to be individual, to be different than other people, you have to be weird. You are a freak. But it’s not true! You can be yourself and still have tons of friends, real, true friends. You can be yourself and still wear “cool” stuff too. Just make it your own. Express yourself! Wear, act, be what you like, no matter who doesn’t. Forget the opinions of others, because why should any but yours matter to you, make you who you are?