Entering high school is the most nerve wracking experience for any adolescent. High school is where each teenager can find the person they want to be for the rest of their life. Every student gets a label placed on them because of the clothes they wear, the people they hangout with, and their past actions. From a young age, I have always been different from other kids my age. Before I was able to embrace this, I would dress differently depending on who I was around. I would wear black clothes around my “emo” friends and trendy clothes around my preppy friends. My identity was never defined, instead it varied based on my surroundings. This attitude is very common among freshman and may last well into high school for a lot of teenagers. Although at some point, myself and others who struggle with identity finally figure out who they are. Eclectic is what those accepting of their own style turn out to be. Eclectic stays away from the status quo and focuses on originality.
Part of being a teenager is that every developing soul has a similar longing for acceptance. No one wants to be an outcast. Although very recently, being different has become trendy. The book “Perks of being a Wallflower” has become a sort of high school survival book. Charlie is starting high school with no friends or a place where he belongs. He becomes close with the outcasts of the school and they show Charlie true friendship. This book sends a message that having hundreds of friends will never define who you are. Seek an identity among true and loyal people, not just anyone who might make you popular. When the clock strikes midnight and popularity is taken away in an instant, character still stands. Make sure that the character that you’re stuck with is something to be proud of.
My best friend Nick started out high school not knowing who he was or who he wanted to be, he simply followed everyone else. This method got him stuck when he broke up with his long time girlfriend. He isolated his friends for a whole year until he discovered who he was without depending on others for his happiness. He shared this with me when I had my own battle with fitting in. He said, “Rachel, you’re a cool girl, you just need to embrace it.” Once Nick became secure, everyone wanted to be just like him. He dressed differently, listened to different music, and had a different attitude that made him stand out from his peers. This worked for him and so it worked for everyone else. Looking at him now, his insecurities are completely at rest and his eclectic attitude boldly shines through.
It’s been three years since I started high school. I started out the same as every other teen, scared and insecure. I now have a better understanding of identity and how to discover it in my own life. Embracing who I am used to be a difficult definition for me to define. Now that the phrase has more significance in my life, it has gradually became a natural habit for me. It means not straying away from individuality. I see what kind of person I am and have gradually loved the girl I see in the mirror. Insecurity is no longer a major part of my life and instead I bask in being different instead of longing to be like everyone else.