Being Unique Shouldn’t Be The Most Important Thing In Your Life

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I’m a huge fan of quotes. They’re all over my social media and screen shots are saved on my phone. Quotes help me feel better during my down times and often serve as writing inspiration. I post a variety of them, but ones about being “unique” or “different” are ones that you’ll never see. Although the idea of being a true individual has good intentions, I haven’t fully bought into the idea. Here’s why:

Growing up, we’re programmed to believe that we must spend our lives perfecting our individuality and find ways to stand out. We’re taught to always be leaders and to rarely follow the crowd. Both of these sound good on paper and when heard in conversation, but what society fails to realize is that these ideas that are used to motivate can also destroy, simply because it’s taken too seriously. Everyone is so quick to proclaim that they’re “not like the rest of them,” but few are willing to admit the opposite. Admitting that you are the poster child of several common habits and quirks may be considered as taboo, but in reality, it’s one of the most honest things a person can do.

In most areas, I’m a typical 23 year old. I stay up until 3am, and wake up at noon. The majority of my conversations are through text messages and social media (Instagram, you are my hero). I often wait until 8 pm to start something that is due at 11:59 that night. Awkward is my speciality and I get myself in trouble with people sometimes because I don’t think before I speak. I’ve trusted the wrong people and ignored the right ones. My college graduation is in 22 days and I do not have a job lined up, or even a solid plan of how I’m going to enter “the real world” because I would rather enjoy my last true break instead of walking off the graduation stage right into my first full time job. I’m perpetually single and have more dating disaster stories than actual relationships. Overall, I’m a mess, with nothing figured out.

This isn’t a message about proclaiming my individuality. On the contrary, it’s a message proclaiming that I’m just like the rest of the twentysomethings out there wandering around this confusing corn maze of life that has more left turns than right. We spend so much time trying to make ourselves stand out that it often causes us to feel alone. Here’s the truth: you’re never as alone as you feel. There’s always a group of people who are going through the same exact thing. “Being like the rest of them” isn’t always bad. If anything, it makes you relatable and approachable, which opens more doors than you think. Finding people with similar quirks and goals can inspire you. Letting go of this idea of having to stand out and joining up with them can give you the support system you need to achieve everything you want. There is strength in numbers, and you’re never as alone as you think. We’re all in this together, I promise. TC Mark

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