In today’s society, there are so many people that try their hardest to “fit in” with a group. This is seen more so in middle/high schools. Teens are faced with the daily struggle of being bullied, depressed and/or anxious. It is no wonder why teens want to fit in with everything going on. Fitting in is believed to make things better and easier. Along the way, however, people end up losing their real self to a made up version of themselves in order to fit in. Or if they do not fit in, then they are isolated.
I was in the latter category throughout middle/high school. When I was in elementary school, I found it easier to hang with the guys because there was less drama and they seemed to have fun at recess. The guys would play football, kickball, tag and dodgeball while the girls walked around with linked arms and gossiped. I was not one for that so I found my friends to be all guys.
When I hit middle/high school, I only had one girl who I counted on as my friend. Other girls were acquaintances that I could say “Hi” to in the hallway. The rest of my friends were guys. Although I did lose a couple guy friends because they became jocks, I still had a few that had my back. I stayed under the radar in high school with only my guy friends and one girl friend to talk to. I did not do anything that would attract attention and, for the most part, I stayed by myself in classes. While walking in the hallway, my head faced the ground so as not to attract attention or make eye contact, unless I was with a friend.
During my time in high school, I noticed that I was not as outgoing as I used to be, I began having anxiety attacks and dealt with anxiety. There were times were I was made fun of. I never figured out why, but looking back now it does not matter. Even though I was going through this, I tried to stick to my real self, despite not being able to fit in.
Once I got to college, I found that I did not have to worry about those things anymore. At first, I did struggle to make friends and get involved, but over time I was able to find people I could talk to and hang out with. And the best part is that I did not have to change anything about myself to find these new friends. My friends had accepted me with all my quirks and have helped me through each semester whether it be listening about my problems, watching a movie or going out to eat.
Although it does seem rough to make friends and find your own place in the world, things do get better. It may seem difficult to understand that things can get better in dark times, but soon you will find the silver lining in the gray clouds. Accept yourself, be yourself and take care of you. Shut out all the negative voices and focus on you. Be abnormal, weird and fun.
Just be you.