Following my own Path

Rachel - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on October 17, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Following my own Path

I believe in following my own path to become my own person. I have always looked up to someone, usually a celebrity or classmate. Like most girls, I used to admire stars such as Britney Spears. My friends and I would dress up and sing for our parents who impatiently watched and cheered as we would finish lip-syncing to pop songs. As I grow up, I see myself copying several aspects of my role models and idols in order to create myself.

However, I can become too caught up in the excitement of being like someone else. I lost myself. I am in high school. I watch this problem occur everyday. The halls are filled with the same Vera Bradley bags. Everyone is wearing the same Abercrombie or Hollister clothing.

I had once been sucked into the swirling vortex of the teenage world of cliques and name brands. I desperately wanted to fit in with anyone. I did not care who. After moving so many times for my dad’s job, I felt I had serious social problems because of my struggles to fit in with a group of people that understood and accepted me. That was, until I met Ana. Ana lives in my neighborhood and on my first day of school in Georgia, she let me sit with her on the school bus. We became inseparable and clung to each other like sides of a magnet. After four weeks together, we were twins. I not only walked talked, dressed, and acted like her; I though her every thought.

It was the end of the school year and she and I started arguing over some silly gossip I cannot even remember anymore. We stopped talking. I transformed. I broke from my shell and gained friends from several cliques. If it were not for Ana, I wouldn’t have felt the need to reach out to others. Now I see the importance of being myself instead of just copying whoever I happen to be around. In my desperation to make new friends back then, I befriended people in different cliques. I feel so much more independent because my friends respect me for being my own person.

Emilee was her own person. I used to be embarrassed when she would act ridiculous around me while we shopped. After she moved, I missed having her around to lighten the mood with her “out there” personality. She came to visit a few weeks ago and I was excited to see her after a year. The day finally arrived when Emilee’s airplane landed. We met up at Starbucks for coffee and I couldn’t believe it.

She was just like every other prep that she worked so hard not to be. I knew the moment I saw her that I lost Emilee. She wasn’t herself. I believe in being my own person so I don’t end up like Emilee. We are all given the choice to stand up and be exactly who we are.