Alessandra - South San Francisco, California
Entered on March 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that people push themselves too hard to be accepted by others. You’re probably saying

to yourself, “Not me. I don’t care what other people think of me,” but deep inside, you know that you

are just as guilty as everyone else. Everyone wants to feel that they are accepted by others, but

sometimes, that leads some people to make drastic changes to themselves to try and “fit in.” I know how

this feels personally. Throughout elementary and middle schools, I was always that quiet kid who just sat

and did her work. No matter what group I hung out with, I always felt awkward and not really a part of

“the group.” I had “friends” who bossed me around and, at one point, wouldn’t let me do things that I

wanted to do. I changed a lot of my interests because of this. But I still wanted them to like me, so I went

along with it and eventually became a quiet, conservative wallflower, who nobody noticed. I buried

myself in schoolwork to hide my feelings. I still have trouble letting go of some of those habits, though.

I’m just glad I had and found friends who accept me for who I am and call me “weird” and “insane” as a


But I’m not the only one who has to go through this. Even people out there who feel

confident about themselves are just begging for people to like them. The plea for acceptance is the

strongest in high school. “Oh, I like that rocker guy, so I’m going to wear black and skulls from now on.”

“She like [insert singer’s name] and I don’t, but I don’t want her to think I’m uncool.” “I’m personally

disgusted by sex, but my girlfriend loves it, and I don’t want her to leave me.” See what I mean?

The major problem of the wanting to be accepted is that you care too much about what other

people think of you. This is what drives people to compare themselves to others and determine that

someone else’s gift is their flaw. This is why people really try to change themselves to be like other

people. Whether it’s “She’s skinny, I’m such a fatty,” “He gets all the girl’s, something’s wrong with

me,” or “She’s such a raw player, I’m just a wimp,” it all ends with “I WANT TO BE HIM/HER!” This

ideal is what really causes people to want to change themselves. They believe that if they can be like

those “Perfect people” everyone will love and accept them too. It’s human nature to criticize others, but,

seriously, it’s messing with people’s heads. I really don’t want to have to freak about if I’m as good as

her. People should just be able to be themselves and not feel judged. They should be accepted for who

they are and feel good about it. Your opinions are the most important.

This I believe…..