Why We Should Take Pride In Individuality

Why We Should Take Pride In Individuality

Should we conform for social acceptance?
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Social acceptance and conformity are ideas that many people have struggled with since our youth. We follow trends and try to stay current on what is “in” and what is not. However, is it possible that we may be following them too closely?



Taking pride in your individuality is something that more people should be able to do. It is sometimes difficult to do because of worries about what others may think. Individuality can be expressed in many different ways, whether it is your hobby, your style, your favorite music, or your ideas. No matter what it is, these differences are what make up your entire existence.

Our generation seems to be particularly interested in following trends. I began to notice the regularity of trend following when I started college. As a student at a historically black university, I frequently observe trends and conformity. When you go to class, parties, or even the cafeteria, you will often see students wearing certain outfits or sporting a popular shoe, and they could be sitting right next to each other. Trends at an institution like Hampton University spread like wildfires. This can be due to a number of reasons, whether it is the proximity, the variety in cultures, or people’s desire to want to stay current.


Style is not the only form of conformity that people uphold. Anther way that you may notice it is when you hear the music that people enjoy listening to or artists that they think are hot at that time. However, have you ever listened to artists like Drake, Kendrick, or Future and thought, “What is all the hype about?” If you have, then this is just fine. You may find other artists that you appreciate, and you may even prefer to listen to other genres instead. This is what contributes to your individuality. Although people may love mainstream artists that are hot now, some may also appreciate your different taste and may be curious about what you are interested in. There is still beauty in being unique and maintaining your individuality.

At Hampton, one of the biggest ways that students conform is within the MBA program. One of the requirements of the program is for male students to have clean cut hair, and natural styles, such as fros or dreadlocks are not permitted. Because the Business Administration program is so beneficial, many people look past this requirement and enter the program. However, some people choose to take other academic routes and study entrepreneurship, finance, or other programs in the school of business because they did not want to give up their styles, and they wanted to conform to fit into the program. It is understandable why some people choose to continue within the program because all of the preparation and life changing opportunities that can be presented for its students. However I am just as able to understand why someone would choose to take a different route. At the end of the day, it is most important for you to make the decision that is best for you.

Having your own personal style, beliefs and interests is what makes a person interesting and important in their community, family, and amongst their peers. So instead of trying to stay updated on what is popular now, own what you think fits your personality and lifestyle. In the end, you will be happier with yourself and find more enjoyment in life overall.

Cover Image Credit: Wanderlust Musings

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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