To the Girl Who is Trying to Fit In

To the Girl Who is Trying to Fit In

A letter to the young girl who feels left out
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I know that you feel awkward. I know that you feel left out. You may even think that people do not want to be around you because you are different. Those aren't the cases. Your's beautiful, strong, and talented in your own way.

Stop playing dress up with someone who has different intentions for you. You do not need to cover up your face or show off your body to get people to notice you. If someone thinks that you should, simply walk away. Yes, it is easier said than done, but that is what will make you grow.

Putting on different clothes does not make you grown up. Wearing a lot of make up doesn't make you grown up, despite how you may look. Drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and letting boys take advantage of you does not make you an adult. It will only make you dislike yourself. These things will make you do actions that you will regret. Stop trying to imitate an adult, because you will never be one that way. Here is what you should do because you feel lost, because you don't know where to go, because you don't know who you are yet.

Try anything that makes you happy, no matter what others may think. Their opinion does not matter, so let it roll off your shoulders. If you want to paint your nails crazy colors, try out a new hair style, or listen to music that isn't popular, do it! Do what makes you happy. This is how you will find your true self. Why should you do anything otherwise? Our goal of being humans that are living and interacting everyday is not to make each other like us, no matter how badly you don't want to believe it. We are humans, created to explore, engage, and discover. So for now, stop trying to flirt with that boy who hasn't ever paid you attention. Stop worrying about the girl who gave you a weird look in the hallway. They do not matter in the big picture of things. This is the time of your existence to find out what makes you thrive, what makes you stand out, what makes you amazing. The secret is that once you figure out who you are, then you will have a community beginning to materialize around you.

Once you find your happiness and inspiration, it will show around you. You will outwardly show happiness and a positive light. You will meet people, notice details, and be inspired because of yourself. You won't have to hide or try to fit in because you will eventually find your group. Everyone eventually does. It just takes time, so give it some time.

People will have their opinions about what you do. They will say that you should not do that, or that it it not lady like. People will try to make you conform to the common thought of our society. Please, do not listen to them. You will of course hear them, and I wish I could tell you that they will not hurt. I cannot tell you that though because I do not have any proof that the pain will stop. Bear in mind that they are only words and that you are always stronger than words. Soon after that, these silly, petty comments will roll off your shoulders, barely noticing them. Hold your head high and unwavering. Raise your standards and remember that you are beautiful, strong, and enough.

Do not be afraid to try new things, to enjoy all of the experiences that you can, and try to be nice to everyone you encounter. Learn to accept yourself. It might be hard, but at the end of that journey, it will be worth it. Try to remember that social media is not everything and that it is okay if you decide to detox from it. Some things are better if they are kept to yourself. Do not try to grow up faster than you are supposed to because being young is okay. Being different is okay. Do not try to fit in, just be you. Everything will fit into place, eventually.

Cover Image Credit: Jennie Spiegler

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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Cross-Country Running Turned Me Into Superwoman

Running pulled me out of my everyday funk.

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Before I found the key to my personal success, waking up each morning was a drag. I did not know how to change my negativity. Early every morning my alarm clock would scream at its highest pitch and loudest volume to scold me for existing.

Breakfast (the most important meal of the day) was bland, lifeless, or even just skipped completely. There seemed no point in fueling a broken, run-down engine.

Packing up my heavy, oversized backpack was an everyday annoyance. I would swing my worthless school textbooks over my shoulder, beginning another exhausting day.

I destroyed this negative mindset when I found cross-country running. Introduced to me by a close friend, I had no idea that the sport would soon ameliorate my life.

Today, I wake up before my alarm clock even needs to tell me that it is time to start a new and exciting day of learning and improvement.

Breakfast is of utmost importance. A vigorous, motivated running machine needs nutrients for fuel. I look at myself in the mirror as I tie my hair back; I feel beautiful and capable. Most importantly, I know I can take on anything.

With my running shoes tied tight and my muscles thoroughly stretched and warmed up, I burst out of the door. I hold my head up high and roll my shoulders back, assuming the posture of a powerful superhero. With each stride I beat down upon the ground, leaving clouds of dust behind. My heartbeat is jolted as my legs push forward with power; straining my body. Cramps crawl up my sides, begging me to slow down or stop. They tighten their grip when I refuse to abandon my mission. I feel my overexerted heartbeat burst through my clenching ribcage while my laboring lungs wheeze.

When I put all my energy into keeping the steady rhythm of my feet launching off from the ground, when my breath flows deeply and steadily, then and only then am I able to become greater than any issue or shortcoming. I no longer need to rely on anyone; I just need my running shoes, my body, and my motivation.

This endorphin and adrenaline releasing exercise put me in a positive mindset, motivating me to make other self-improvements. I know I can focus all my energy into running dexterously; holding my pace for over an hour with great confidence. Therefore, I know I must have the ability to sit down for an hour and focus on understanding my calculus homework, on discovering the meaning of life, on writing a book powerful enough to change the world, on finding the answer to world peace or writing my first article for Odyssey.

I hold the same mantra: just keep going, focus your energy, you can and will achieve.

Running has taught me how to focus the entirety of my energy into one task - to not worry how long it takes to accomplish, but rather how well the task is being done. Being proficient in this skill helps me absorb more knowledge from everyday classes.

This life-enhancing sport has truly changed my overall mood and feeling towards the world around me. I look forward to finding myself completely immersed in challenging college courses, discovering fields that captivate me, and continuing to write for Odyssey. Running has taught me that this goal will be achievable.

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