I was always told “Don’t be afraid to be yourself!” However, I found it really difficult to follow through with that in high school. I grew up in a very small school where everyone knew each other which made the whole popularity game ridiculous (i’m a bottom of the food chain survivor haha). So, this post is going to be strongly influenced by growing up in that environment. Around my sophomore year at Briarwood, my school, my grade and the grades around us starting developing into this mindset that friend groups claimed activities. For some reason “hipster” became this huge trend and everyone wanted to be “artsy” and “musical” and “retro” and whatnot. There was a group of about 10 kids who started taking pictures (and don’t get me wrong they take beautiful pictures) and there was this sense that because they were the photographers, no one else could be. They had claimed the photography hobby. Then you have the partiers. Ya know, the ones who flaunt their shenanigans all over the internet? Those. There was a group for that, so if you weren’t already in their friend group you’re out of luck, sorry. Or the athletic ones. The musical ones (not the band, the people who are in professional theater and take singing and acting lessons). The loners. After a while I felt like I was in the movie Mean Girls trying to find a table to sit at. It became hard to express who I was because if I shared a trait as someone else it felt like I couldn’t show it because that person had already claimed it. Some of you may be laughing and I know, I know it sounds petty, but really it was frustrating as hell! Anyway I got fed up with it by the time I hit senior year and graduated.
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss
I quit trying to scavenge through pieces left behind by other people to fit to me and now that I’m in college I have never felt more free to be myself. I don’t worry about what someone is going to think of me if I choose to do something I’ve never done before. I’ve started asking myself this question before I do anything “Would I have done it in high school?” if I answer no, I do it. Don’t think this is me telling you to go crazy in college…like if someone asks you if you want to do meth obviously do not follow my rule. But asking myself that question has pushed me to do things I never thought I would do. For example, a couple months ago two girls in my class asked me if I wanted to go to a music festival with them in Miami. In high school, I would have said no because I did not know these girls super well, but that proved that I had to go. That ended up being on of the greatest weekends of my life!
This post kind of rambled, but the point I’m trying to get across is that I spent way too much time caring about what people thought of me in high school. I feel more like myself now and I encourage everyone reading this to be true to yourself. Explore what’s out there and find yourself.
I love you all. Be adventurous. Chérir la vie.