People define themselves by choosing their own beliefs and constructing their own unique approach at life. Most people build themselves into who they are by piecing together their opinions about different things: like what they see as right verse wrong, or what they see as fun verse stupid. This is true for millions of people, as it is myself, who try to create themselves, rather than be created by their peers and the media. Being a college student here at Cal Poly, I see people who are clearly unsure of whom they are because they can never stand up for what they believe in and act completely different when surrounded by different types of people. I see friends and teammates every weekend easily influenced to do things they usually wouldn’t do, just to fit in with the crowd or impress the people around them. Knowing who you are and what you truly stand for requires standing up for your beliefs first. Peer pressure, nerves, social status; you can’t let any of those affect you. I believe in following your beliefs and being yourself.
Sincerely knowing who you are is a top priority for tons of people. By having this knowledge of yourself and what you believe in, there is nothing that can pull down your guard. But it’s the smallest things that influence people to do stuff not fit to their personalities. One example of this is social status relating to decisions about drinking. This is a big issue at Cal Poly and I see it happening all the time. Drinking alcohol is seen by most students at this school as being fun and a way to be social. True, it can be fun and help you be more social, but the logical fallacy here is that you need to drink to have fun or make friends. That is far from true yet there are so many students that don’t understand that. They might not ever drink and see it as disgusting, but if that’s what it takes to impress that certain guy or girl, they’ll throw away their feelings on the issue and do it out of selfishness. I’m not saying drinking is awful, but seeing people do it because they feel like they have to is really sad. By knowing and understanding your beliefs, peer pressure and social status will not be factors of how you decide to live your life.
Values are also tested all the time in the classroom. Cheating is one of those things that certain people have a problem with and would never dream of participating in. Often in this case, there’s a smarter student who is asked by a more dependent student if he/she can cheat off them. By knowing what you stand for and being comfortable with yourself and your beliefs, it’s easy to tell that person no, or if on the other end of the situation it’s easy to avoid cheating in the first place. But when people who are usually strong against cheating give in and let someone use them, they might have done it because of pressure or they just gave in to up their status with the person using them. Being yourself means that you will do what you believe in and not be influenced by the tiniest things to better your own situation.
Be yourself no matter what the situation is. If you are trying to impress a girl or guy, don’t transform yourself into what you think they are looking for. That is false to both you and them which may begin a nasty lie. It is hard for people to stick up for themselves when it makes them feel uncomfortable, but standing up for your beliefs is one of the most respectable things anyone can do. Don’t crack under peer pressure, stand up for what you know is right or wrong, respect your beliefs and know others will do the same, and most of all, be yourself.