The Need to Fit In
No matter what age we are we will always somehow find ourselves in a situation where we are trying to fit in with a group of people. Regardless of where we are we want to be excepted by people and have a sense of belonging. However, do we really have to dumb ourselves down to fit in?
Recently I read an article a friend sent me about how some companies are trying to send hidden messages through graphic t-shirts for young girls. The sayings are cute, but behind them it suggest that girls don’t need to be smart they just need to be cute. For young girls that are impressionable and looking to fit in with their peers these messages can convey way more than just a cute saying.
I know what it’s like to be the awkward person who wants to fit in, and I had the hardest time with this in junior high and high school. There would be times in class when I would pretend I didn’t know the answer because I didn’t want to be the nerd in front of my classmates. I would hide my brilliance not only to gain acceptance from my peers, but to not stand out. One day I was talking to my grandma about school and the problems I was having and she said that I shouldn’t be ashamed of being smart and if I know something in class I should say it.
Since that day I’ve held onto her advice and have found the courage to speaking up and share who I am. No matter if it’s in a board meeting, on a date, or in a classroom no one should dumb themselves down just to please others. Many times it’s better to be an individual that goes against the pack then to be apart of the collective.