Teenagers need to be their true selves

The most important thing to learn in highschool is to stop caring so much about what others think

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Teenagers need to be their true selves

A mustache and glasses aren't the only things people hide behind.

A mustache and glasses aren't the only things people hide behind.

Ginny Lyons

A mustache and glasses aren't the only things people hide behind.

Ginny Lyons

Ginny Lyons

A mustache and glasses aren't the only things people hide behind.

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To put it simply, high school is hard. Every year comes with new responsibilities, harder classes, and the nearly impossible task of balancing extracurriculars with the amount of homework we are assigned daily. However, high school’s real difficulty lies in its elaborate social politics.

Sometimes, high school can feel like a scene from “Mean Girls.” Everyone sits at their own table in the lunchroom; everyone has their own place in the unspoken hierarchy of popularity. If this hasn’t been your high school experience, you are lucky, but many students spend their entire high school careers doing things to make themselves seem more “popular.”

Sometimes, high school can feel like a scene from “Mean Girls.” Everyone sits at their own table in the lunchroom; everyone has their own place in the unspoken hierarchy of popularity.”

— Kailyn Pedersen

This should not be a normal high school experience. Students should be focused on making real friendships and growing in their understanding of the world around them instead of constantly striving for the approval of their peers. More importantly, the endless amount of gossip and superficial judgment needs to stop.

Some teenagers act like they are better than others just because they are in a certain clique, or they have more followers on Instagram. It seems that friendships have turned into a superficial means of gaining social acceptance, or as a way to “get in” with a cooler crowd. I believe many teens have lost who they truly are because they are consumed with portraying a persona that is easily accepted. No one wants to stand out in fear of public humiliation. This only creates a generation of people who act the same, dress the same, and all have an underlying fear of rejection.

Of all the important lessons to be learned in high school, I think the most important thing to learn is to stop caring so much about what others think. Although this sounds cliché, it’s true, and it needs to be said repeatedly. We are all equal, and anyone who pretends to be better than their peers is either lying to themselves, immature, or just insecure. Besides, high school is exhausting enough as it is––we shouldn’t waste any energy pretending to be people we are not.

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