Who are you? A geek? A jock? A skater? Regardless of who you may be or choose to hang out with, we all live in a society that is always searching for the next best thing. Now, this seems to have always been the case for any group of adolescents, watch any good 80’s movie. However, this popularity contest has been intensified by social media, group chats, and smartphones. In contrast, the world loves more, learns more, and creates more than ever (hey I am really optimistic). In light of all the dual realities of high school here are some thoughts on fitting in from someone who is just trying to make it to graduation.
First, fitting in is not always horrible, but in my experience it is better to be fitting out. Besides being proud of myself for making a cool new phrase, I seriously believe this is true. Today’s cool kids seem more obsessed with things it apparently should care about than with things it does care about. For example, a lot of people do this with social media hashtags and challenges. This does not mean every trend is worthless, but do we really all need to know you are #blessed? Instead idea one on fitting in is to not. Be yourself. Make friends with whoever you want, especially those you love and laugh with. Never sacrifice yourself just because it is apparently “cool” according to the gram.
Next, start including others because honestly EVERYONE is searching for real friends. People will act like they are cool with the fake people but we all know who is really there for us in the end. Keep it real with these new friends too, and always search for the one left out. That quiet kid in your math class, learn their name, ask them general questions, be kind, and the most minute things will go a long way. Idea two on fitting out, everything is temporary so while it lasts spread some love and inclusivity.
Lastly, do not ever, seriously never ever, give in to the peer pressure. This one hurts a lot, but if you make it through high school without giving in to the pressure it is quite worth it. I am not saying you should miss out on everything exciting or fun, then look back and realize everything is gone. But if the popular people are doing it then it is fun, right? No way! You decide. Chances are they are just as insecure as anyone else. If you get to graduation and you are not even close to being your true self then it will be WAY worse than FOMO. Idea three is simple, try not to change yourself for other people. Whether you are fitting in currently or actively fitting out, always strive to be the person YOU want, everything else is excess noise in the room.
In today’s world, everything is moving so fast, and we seem to have trouble focusing on what matters most. The important stuff can not be our phones, social media, or amount of followers if we want to move towards something better. It has to be the people who are there for us.
My last and final idea is swim against the current. The current moves swiftly, it might even pull you under at times, but fight back. There is an island at the end of the current and it is your true self. When we can swim there, we can swim anywhere. - C.R.B.