I know that school has already been happening back in the states, but this week at UCC it was the first day back for some students and for others the very first day of college. It can be very scary and for someone who has done it many times I thought I would write this back to school post on how to find your place and friends, and still be you.
It is hard, because for some odd reason to be liked you have to like the same things or do the same things as your friends. You can’t be a certain way or they won’t like you. It’s even harder today with social media, likes, and followers. It can be even harder when you see your friends with people who aren’t really your friends. I didn’t understand this until 20 years later when I realized what mattered. And I wish someone had told me what I am about to tell you.
It isn’t how many friends you have…
Even back in my day (eye roll), there was no social media so the amount of people you sat with at lunch determined your ‘popularity.’ But really it doesn’t matter how many friends you have. Because it is more important to have friends that are actually true.
You don’t have to like or do what they do if you DON’T like it…
I think a lot of the times you do things espicaly in high school because you don’t want to be made fun of or be thought of as a loser. But if you don’t like it don’t do it. Or do it differently– for example when you and your friends go out and drink but you don’t like to drink THAT’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t go out and have a fun time. I know a lot of people that do this.
Don’t be afraid to Stand out…
Growing up and even now there were a lot of people that just looked the same. The girls in my high school that were socially defined as ‘popular’ girls ALL had brown hair and wore the same clothes. And here I see groups of girls and they are wearing the same things. Maybe it’s because there’s a limited number of shops. OR they need to follow the trends. But if it doesn’t fit you then why wear it? Don’t be afraid to stand out because it will not only make you noticed but give you more confidence.
High school or college isn’t your life….
I learned this very quickly. A lot of people still live their high school or college days or both because that is all they have. If you make those things your life you never grow; you need to learn. You are still acting and being like you were then. I know growing up is scary, I waited for Peter Pan until I was 20. But there is more out there than high school or college.
You will figure out but it won’t be at 18 or at 20….
I thought I knew who I was when I was 18. Then at 20 I thought I knew exactly who I was. But really I had no clue. I still am me, the characteristics that make me who I am have are always been there since I was little. And I think it’s important to recognize those things but also realize that you don’t have to figure out what you need by 24. You need to figure out what you need now.
All in all…
A quote I found: “You’re going to meet people who are intimidated by you. You’re different. People don’t know how to react or how to accept people who don’t follow the crow… They are not used to someone who doesn’t fit in— so instead of bolstering your uniqueness, they’ll try and make you feel like you’re weird or damaged. I’m here to offer some well-earned advise: Screw them.” _Alfa
It is always a struggle to be yourself and to be liked for it, especially when starting a new school OR the very first day back to school. No matter what age or grade you’re going into. For me personally, I went through a lot of hard times trying to find friends that weren’t only good but were real. This was especially the case in high school. I constantly felt like I was friends with people who weren’t really my friends. Or I was friends with people and wasn’t being me. And when I started being me it felt harder to find the right people to accept me for me.
I’m here to tell you don’t try to conform yourself to society or to others just to feel wanted, to be liked. Just don’t do it because it’s not worth it, you will lose yourself. Go into school being you!