This I Believe

Emily - LaGrange Park, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Just Be Yourself

I believe that no matter what people do, no matter what people say, and no matter what people think you should always be yourself.

There was a time in my life when I tried to be a person that I wasn’t. I dressed like I was that person, which I liked but it wasn’t me. I also acted like them, which was not me at all. Doing all of these things only made me realize one thing … I was not that person.

When I was in seventh grade I went through a change. I was trying to figure out who I was and who I was or should be friends with. In my music class I met a girl who was new to the district. She was from Berwyn. We started talking and realized we had three periods straight together. We began to talk more and pretty soon, we were really close. This friendship was not all a good thing, which I am able to see now. She was the type of person who did not care about anything that involved being successful. I on the other hand did, but once we started to become friends I only saw the good side of how she acted was. I would not have to pay attention in class, I wouldn’t have to do my homework, and I wouldn’t have to study. So, I started acting and doing what she was doing which was, nothing. My grades started slipping more and more and I really didn’t care. This was not who I was at all. I realized this after I thought it was too late to change the way I was acting. At the end of the school year and beginning of the summer. I looked at my report card and saw how much my grades went down and how much I lost it. I was so upset at myself, and I finally for sure realized that this wasn’t me. I knew who I was from then on. A girl who is not afraid to dress how I want and be who I truly am.

From eighth grade on I didn’t let anybody tell me what to do, how to act, or how to dress. I decide all of those things on my own. Since then, I’ve learned that you can be friends with who you want, but you should always know that you have the ability to say no and still be who you are. If they don’t like the way you are, they really are not your friend at all. If they make fun of you for doing or saying something they are not your friend either. You may be influenced by others, but don’t let that make or break you, just be what you want to be. Just be yourself.