In America, especially when it comes to young people, we spend so much time trying to fit in while sacrificing our individuality. Of course, we all want others to like and accept us, instead of being left out and alone. That’s just human nature and it’s been like that forever. But we need to realize that it’s OK to be different.

We’ve gotten to the point where being different has become a bad thing, but if you ever want to stand out or change the world, you’re going to have to be different. Any leader in the world was a leader because they were different. People wouldn’t have followed them if they were just like everyone else because then they’d have been just an ordinary person without much hope for change. Being different is not a curse like people constantly make it out to be. Without it, the world would never have progressed.

Society has constantly told people how to think, how to act, and how to look, but society doesn’t control us and we can be whatever we want to be. We are constantly told that to be normal we have to do this or that, but isn’t it normal for people to be different? We are like an assembly line; in order to function properly, everybody has to have their own purpose that makes them different from everyone else. If we all did the same thing, the assembly line just wouldn’t work.

Why would you want to fit in with everyone else when it requires you to give up what makes you, you? A world where everyone is the same would be a complete mess and would take all the fun out of living. We thrive on the differences in people, from their personal interests, to their unique ideas and solutions to problems. If you want to dress differently, listen to different music, think differently, or have different interests, go for it. Don’t let other people tell you what you can or can’t do because then you’re letting them take away your freedom and you become void of individuality.

Many people are probably worried about losing friends from being different, but if people don’t accept you for who you are, then they’re probably not worth being friends with anyway since part of true friendship is loving people despite their differences. If they can’t accept your differences then your friendship is probably all for personal gain instead of being based off of caring about you like a friendship should be. It’s also a good practice to surround yourself with people of different viewpoints and interests as it can actually make you smarter and more open-minded.

As Alejandro Jodorowsky said, “Normality is to be different. Every person is a different person. And one day you need to be aware of your difference. Aware that you are not the same as the others. That is to be normal.” Being different is a part of life and is something that should be encouraged. Society should not restrict us to certain presets but should push for individuality.