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Be Yourself! The Importance of Individuality

“To be yourself, is to be an individual”. I can remember my mother saying that quote as if was yesterday. She did whatever she could to discourage me from longing to be like everyone else; whether it was me asking for a pair of Jordans or a new power ranger action figure. After while, I wasn’t your typical kid dreaming of the ordinary things my peers were anymore, instead determined to stand out and be my own person. I felt it necessary to act in a way no one else did for my age, as well as talk and carry myself. Often recognized as gifted and talented, I considered myself different and “cutting edge”. 

In 2012 however, it seems that brief fads along with pop culture has everyone thinking that unless you conform with society’s status quo, its you who are weird so to speak or deserved to be twitpic’ed for self expression. SInce 2009, we have been subdued to fads such as 90’s style haircuts like gumby’s and high-tops, skinny jeans, blonde wiz khalifa streaks, planking, batmaning, cooking, the dougie, “sh* _____ says”, cinnamon challenge, and the list is 4 times this long. Whether silly dances, or weird acts, there’s times where all I see is a world of followers that have a skewed vision of what being unique is.  Individuality is nothing to torment or treat negatively. We each have distinct genes, fingerprints, etc. 

Why is buying the same pair of shoes or hat as someone else deemed “swag” or unique? Standing in line for days to purchase shoes that cost as much $200.00 when it is 100% obvious you will not be the only person wearing them at work or at school. Generations before us, people our age fought for self-expression and individuality whereas we today would rather tolerate a stadium full of people dressed alike and point fingers at those different.

5 tips on being yourself

1.) Attend a movie alone, and analyze what you like and dislike about it. This way not outside opinion can influence your judgment on the movie. 

2.) Pick a day of the week to eat lunch alone.

3.) Pick a day of the week to NOT text/call anyone in your phone until they text/call you. That way you can monitor your influence on your friends and vice versa. 

4.) Go a day without listening to your typical radio station. Pick a day of the week to listen to a radio station you don’t usually listen to for the majority of the day. You will have a  more diverse outlook on music and have a wider range of interest than that of your friends. 

5.) Go a day without watching to your typical television/cable. Pick a day of the week to tune into a station you dont normally watch. Your knowledge of everyday facts will grow and will result in you being more well-rounded. 

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