When I was in high school, all I wanted to be was “normal”. Wanting to fit in with everyone else, I tried to like the latest music, wear the trendy clothes, and like the same boys all the other girls were crushing on. For a while it was enjoyable, I had something to talk about at the lunch table with the other girls.
Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t truly happy because I wasn’t being myself. You see, I wasn’t normal. I didn’t like pop music; I was a punk and alternative fan through and through. Trendy clothes, aka pink, short and see through, well they made me feel uncomfortable. I would much rather be in jeans and a tee shirt. And those guys everyone loved? I didn’t see a thing in them. After some time, I chucked the normal routine and became the Jacki everyone knows and, for the most part, loves.
Sure, sometimes I felt different than the other girls in my high school and my friends would make side comments about my weird interests but I learned a lesson that I carry with me to this day and want to share with all of you; being weird is more fun.
Let’s repeat that together; being weird is more fun.
Now when I say weird, I don’t mean that you have to go against every single popular thing and turn into some pretentious hipster who sits there and goes “That is so basic” (don’t get me started on that word). No, being weird means, to me, being your true self. Unleashing your inner weirdo. Maybe you are secretly a huge science nerd or you really, really love soccer so much you can quote stats that no one else can. Whatever makes your little weird little soul happy, you do it! That’s what being a weirdo is to me and that is why being weird is so much more fun. You are doing what makes you happy.
Of course it is so much easier said than done. A little psychology lesson for you. Conformity is when a person submits to social norms (rules put in place by society) to either become accepted by the group or to avoid conflict but you all probably know this from our many talks about peer pressure in health classes. Conformity is so powerful, that is can force people to say the wrong answer on a test. Solomon Asch, a psychologist, conducted a study where a group of people, where all but one were actors, were instructed to answer questions about lines. The actors would say the wrong answer and when it got to the subject, they would say the wrong answer just to fit in. So, releasing your inner weirdo can be terrifying because its human nature to fit in.
Yet, imagine if we were all just a little bit weirder. Everyone would be that much happier. Likewise, no one would be seen as weird because, well we would all be weird in our own way. So, I say let your freak flag fly. Do what makes you happy, not what is popular and one day, you will look back and be glad for it. I know I am.