Who are you?

When “they” say that high school is all about discovering who you are, “they” are completely and unmistakably right.

High school has a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, curveballs that you never saw coming your way. Expect the unexpected. Speaking from three years of experience, I can definitely say that I’ve had my fair share of surprises– good and bad. I’ve also had my expected trials and difficulties, like the stress of aiming for an 89.5% to get in A in that one grueling class or the voice inside my head telling me I need to fit in with all the other teenagers. But, the truth is high school is not all about the grades, the popularity, and the sporting events. It’s about a lot more than that. It’s about a lot more than the present.

Who we are and who we decide to become in high school shapes us for our entire future. Sure, people can change, but high school is the time to change. We’re faced with challenges everyday and how we respond to them is important. Though it may not seem relevant at the time, these are your choices you’re making and you have to be able to live with them.

It starts with the littlest thing. Someone could ask you to send them the answers to the homework and even though your mind is telling you no, you send the answers anyway. Is this who you are and who you want to be? Peer pressure is extremely impactful and is hard to say no to. When everyone is drinking and doing drugs, it seems easy to comply and join in. But, all in all, what’s the point?

What’s the point of doing things that you hate just to fit in? High school is only four years, so make them count and make a difference. Stop wasting time on people that don’t care about your well-being. Stop chasing boys (or girls) that will only lead you down the wrong path. Stop hating yourself for your mistakes.

This is what I think: screw up, make mistakes, and burn bridges now if that’s what you want. Because once you graduate and join the real world, you have to get it together. I find myself asking time and time again, “Who am I?” And now that I have suffered through the pain and fear of being myself, I let go of the popularity contest and stopped trying to be a perfect person in an imperfect world. I started to find happiness and joy in the things and people that I love.

The next time you look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Who am I?” I hope you find your answer. Stop chasing pavement and start living. Find joy in what makes you happy. Because in the end, no one is going to remember you when you fit in with the crowd and couldn’t make the decision to be yourself. It may take time, but you will find yourself after all the heartache, pain, and suffering has passed. High school may be the most difficult four years of your life, but finding yourself will be worth it all.

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