Who Are You?

February 24, 2017
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Don't conform to society. Don't accept peer pressure. Be yourself. That is all good advice, but how easy is it to follow? You may think you are an individual, not changing for anyone or trying to be something you're not. But think about how you act at home with your parents. Now imagine how you are around your friends. And what about with teachers, or others with authority? Do you act exactly the same in all these situations? For most people, the answer is no. You are respectful and attentive in the classroom (at least, I hope you are), goofy and reckless with your friends, and laid back at home. Wait a second. Doesn't this mean you are changing your personality when you are with different people? Isn't that essentially the definition of conformity? So, who is the true you? If others dictate how you act at all times, do you even have a character? Who are you, if you only exist around others? You are just an empty shell, constantly changing for the needs of society.

However, some are different. There is one girl in my class who acts the same around everyone: teachers, parents, friends, siblings. She never changes, no matter who she is talking to. She has been called disrespectful, brash, and annoying. But she's the only one who really knows herself, who knows who she is without anyone around. This girl is happy, carefree, and utterly herself. Her personality shines, and though some may not like it, she is the most honest person I know. And yet, while I value and envy her freedom, I worry. How will she make it through job interviews or important meetings? Will they be able to look past her 'disrespectfulness' and see the amazing person she is, or will she be forced, at last, to change herself in order to succeed in life?

Is it possible to succeed in life by being exactly who you are at all times? Most people don't even know who they are or where to start. So is it better to be well mannered, socially acceptable, and politically correct, but unable to ever relax and let your guard down? I don't know.

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