The teenage years are very difficult for anyone. The pressure to do as everyone else
does can be overwhelming for someone who has not yet discovered who they are as a person.
The sense of wanting to belong to a certain organization or group of friends may lead us to do
things we later regret in life. Or quite the opposite may occur. The pressure to follow the crowd
may want you to rebel.
The latter example describes me. In junior high school I was picked on terribly and
made fun of because I was not as much of a girl everyone thought I should be and because I did
not have perfect hair or teeth. I tried to be strong and to not let the ridicule get to me, but I
could not help myself. I was after all like any other teenager, just trying to fit in.
I did not want so much as to be popular I just wanted someone, anyone to know I was
alive. I did have a few friends that I hung out with regularly, but that was not enough. I wanted
to be known, but not necessarily popular. I just did not want to be rediculed any more.
Being made fun of made me always think that i was not allowed to be a little different or
to be myself. As I entered high school the ridicules stopped which gave me peace of mind.
On graduation day, as I walked across the stage the only thing I could think about was
that I was, somehow, going to humiliate myself. I just knew that I was going to trip as I walked
onto the stage, across it, or off the stage. I knew everyone was going to point and laugh at me,
which was my fear.
As my name was called to receive my diploma, the entire gymnasium cheered for me as
I approach the stage. Being as withdrawn as I was, it was not until days later that I realized how
liked I really was. Reflecting on everyone’s reactions days later, made me realize that being your
own person has encouraging effects. That was when I truly realized that “going against the
grain” earned me a lot of respect from my fellow classmates. Unfortunately, it was until years
after I graduated before I realized this. I realized how popular I actually was.
I believe that you should never be afraid to show your true self. Just because a couple
of people do not like the way you dress or act or look does not mean that you do not have a
flock of admirers elsewhere. Have pride in yourself and have confidence enough to be you not
matter what. I do.
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