I believe that I can be myself. It’s an easy thing to say, but it’s hard to actually believe. Ever since I could remember friends, parents, and even teachers would constantly say “Be yourself, and follow your own dreams” I thought how could I possibly be anyone but me?
But in junior high, I started to realize exactly what everyone meant. Friends that I spent hours on the play ground with soon turned to associations, and as time went by some even grew into enemies. I saw friend after friend trying to become the “it” girl, trying to become what they thought was their own image of popular. They would change their look, personality and even what they believed in.
An even bigger change happened when I was about thirteen; my family decided to move to Florida. I hated the fact of leaving everyone behind, but I figured it was going to be a new start. The first couple weeks were amazing; everyone welcomed me with open arms. But unfortunately, like everything good it came to an end. As my new girl image wore off I was stuck by myself.
As weeks went by I started to become close with a small group of people. We would be together in school and out. I wanted to fit in and keep them as friends so I started doing the things they loved. With them I started to drink, smoke, and steal, all of which I knew was wrong but I kept thinking to myself that it couldn’t be that bad if my “friends” were doing it? But one day things went a little too far. One of the girls I was with stole a bunch of jewelry and put it in my purse. As we walked out of the store a security guard pulled me aside. The rest was a blur, but when everything came into reality I was sitting in the back of a cop car. And to top it off I was alone. It wasn’t until I was sitting in jail, freezing cold with my hands cuffed behind my back, did I realize that everything I was doing had been for nothing. I changed who I was to make others happy, and it turned out they still weren’t even my true friends.
If I hadn’t learned from my mistakes, I would have ended up a completely different person. I started to live my life the way I wanted to. I became myself not the way someone else wanted me. My senior year in high school I aced all my classes, was in about every club possible, and I was a varsity cheerleader. The best part of it; I had best friends that appreciated me, and a boyfriend who wouldn’t change me for the world. And now I’m almost done with my first semester at college. With all my experience I believe that being myself, and not someone else will get me exactly where I want to be in life.