Senior Column: Embrace all your weird and be different


Irit Skulnik, Outgoing News Editor

When I was a freshman I had one singular goal: to fit in. This goal meant everything to me; it dominated the clothes I wore, the hobbies I pursued, the makeup I put on and even the food I ate.

I had an idea in my head of exactly what I had to do to be just like everyone else. As a result, my unique personality was diminished in the face of Ugg boots, flat ironed hair and Forever 21 sweaters. If I could go back in time and look at my awkward braces-wearing, acne-ridden, rosy-cheeked self, I would have a lot to say.

I would say to be yourself. I know everyone always says that and it’s written on cliche posters all over the school, but I truly mean it. Sure, it seems fun to fit in with the “cool kids,” but it is better to find friends who embrace your true self. Everything that you push down because it’s “too weird” or different is actually beautiful and unique.

Embrace yourself now and be who you are; it will save you a lot of regret and disappointment down the road. I wish I could tell my freshman self that next time you go to school, wear that shirt you love that’s “too weird,” get that tuna from the salad bar, try out for the school play and do all the things you always wanted to do but were too scared to.

This year, the pandemic has taught me how to truly embrace myself and my own values. I started a blog, and at first, I was going to write it anonymously because I was scared of what people would think about my writing. Then, I decided to write as myself because I am proud of who I am. I took ownership of my personality and really let it shine.

High school is the best time to figure out who you are before you eventually head off to college and begin a new chapter of your life. Take advantage of the next four years to figure out your identity outside of everyone else’s. Claim your own style, find hobbies, engage in what makes you happy and not what is “socially normal.”

You might be scared of losing friends and being judged. That fear is valid, but it is not worth changing your values just to fit into the traditional “JDS girl” archetype. If you do lose friends because they think you’re “weird,” they were never your friends to begin with. Let people judge you and talk about you; it is a reflection of them and not you. Let your toxic friends remove themselves from your life. Trust me, you will be better off. Be confident in who you are! Dare to defy the norm, and I assure you that you’ll be a lot happier.