Dare to be Different

Kristina - Staten Island, New York
Entered on December 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Take a moment and picture an entire class of students lined up perfectly straight. All girls wearing identical uniforms: pleated skirt, white collared shirt, green wool sweater, and matching knee high socks with polished black shoes, nothing more and nothing less. This was my life for the past ten years. I went to a small, private, Catholic school on Staten Island from pre-K to eighth grade. As you probably visualize, each individual seemed to be one and the same. The quality lacking in this image is uniqueness.

I believe each individual should cultivate their own sense of uniqueness. Uniqueness is personal flare: what sets you apart from everyone else in the crowd. You will only be appreciated for who you are as a person when you allow your personality to shine through. Once your spirit gets lost in the sea of sameness, you are no longer special. Instead, you simply blend in with those surrounding you. Think of how dull and dreary life would be if we were all alike. In my Catholic school days, every bit of self-expression was prohibited. For instance, bright nail polish, flashy jewelry, and colorful headbands were not even an option. Uniqueness was masked under uniforms. Fortunately, this is not the case in our society today. Our individuality keeps the world alive and captivating.

Inventions and innovations that bring new developments to our society all arise from the unique talents that each one of us is gifted with. Through our own creativity and skills, we can share our contributions with the rest of society. Our uniqueness enables us to make a difference and have an impact on the world. After all, where would we be now without the inquisitive mind of Einstein or the musical brilliance of the Beatles?

As a pianist and singer, music is my forte; consequently, I envision each person as a different song. Some tunes may share notes or perhaps have similar rhythms, yet each melody is distinct and sounds beautiful in its own way. Hence, let your song ring out loud and clear. Do not be afraid to dance to the beat of your own drum. Go for the pistachio when everyone loves chocolate. Square dance when others are rockin’ and rollin’. Wear polka dots when everyone else wears stripes. Dare to be different.