December 18, 2010

Diary of a Freshman: "Finding Yourself"

Everyone says that your high school years are important, and they are. Everyone says that these crucial moments are the times in which you "find yourself."

I've always scoffed at this. I've also always been a firm believer that you don't find yourself, you create yourself--that every piece of you must be a conscious decision, lest the person you become be someone you don't like.

And as it turns out, I was partially right.

Some background info, first. There's something I've kept from you readers. Since about the middle of eighth grade (at least, I suspect it might've been since before that) I have been a fake.

Fake, two-faced, whatever you'd like to call it, that was me. I knew I was, but I had a hard time stopping it. What I mean by two-faced is that I projected a new persona with everyone. I could act fun and carefree with some friends, while I would be smart and weird/silly with others. (Think: Lindsey from An Abundance of Katherines.) I had so many faces and it was getting tiresome. And I really didn't like it. And I was never really happy. And honestly, this is the first time I've ever actually admitted it, because I was always afraid that if I said it or told someone that then my fears would be confirmed. I'm saying it now because it's no longer a fear of mine.

Freshman year has been kind of amazing. I quit trying to decide what I was going to be like, I just let go of whatever "image" I wanted, hung out with whoever I wanted to hang out, and stopped trying to convince people to like me. I continued to make conscious decisions about my personality, like a little voice would remind me Think about this from their perspective and Watch what you say and Be nice. The difference though--I'm doing it for me. I can now honestly say that I couldn't care less about what others think about me. That makes me really happy.

So the point of this is, Yes, they are right, you do "find" yourself in high school, and that if you keep trying to be someone else or be someone that everyone likes, you will never be happy.

Oh, God, I sound like a Disney movie.

Alright, everyone understand the sentiment? Here's the CliffNotes version: I was fake, now I'm not, and I'm happy, so be yourself, 'cause High School is a time of crucial mental development. Got it?

Your Blogger Who Has Found The Secret of Happiness,

P.S. I would say that this also is a testament to how freshmen interact--changing themselves or parts of their personality in order to infiltrate a desired group of friendship, or to achieve a desired status or standing in the high school's society. Theory of Freshman Culture, Behavior, and Interaction #2: Less mature freshmen may often change their personality, imitate interests, and so on in order to change their image, social standing, status, or peer group.

1 comment:

Holly said...

I feel you (:
I was the same way my eighth grade year (which is more evidence that we're twins separated at birth)

The only difference is that i never actually cared about what people thought about me, but i did want to please everyone.
But now i'm more open about things, and I'm more myself.

And now i'm about to blog about this, cause i think you just helped me out of my writers block!