This I Believe

Courtney - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Being Yourself

I believe in being yourself every day, of every week, of every year. There is no reason to try to impress someone. If you have to change who you are to make a new friend, then that person is not a real friend.

In seventh grade, I went from going to Cossitt Elementary School to attending Park Jr. High School. I had all my friends from Cossitt, but now there were new people from three other schools I would meet. I wanted to keep all of my Cossitt friends and become friends with many new people from the other schools. I made new friends, and my Cossitt friends made new friends. When I would hang out with my friends from Cossitt, I would meet all the friends that they had made. I soon became friends with all of them. We were all pretty close friends, but I did not know if the girls from the other schools knew the real me. I always tried to act how I thought would make them like me, and I never was my true self.

In eighth grade, I came to my senses and realized that the girls I could not be myself around were not my true friends. I started hanging out with girls and guys I knew I could be myself around and I knew these friends would accept me for who I was. I still hung out with my Cossitt friends and some of their friends, and I started to be myself. I realized that all along I was trying to impress people that would never be as good of friends with me because they would never know the real me.

Since then, I have realized being who you really are, is so much easier then trying to impress anyone. I have learned that if my friends do not like me for who I am, then those friends are not true friends or friends I want to have. I have learned that true friends will like me for who I am and will not judge me. Today I know I have true friends, who love me for who I truly am.