I have always been kind of a nerdy kid. In fact, I wanted to attend school so bad that I started my first year in elementary school at the same year as my last year of kindergarten. I always kept myself busy with different activities: music school, poetry reading, journalism etc. Imagine meeting all types of different people in each of these institutions alongside with classmates sharing different hobbies at school. It was hard to maintain the balance of socializing with people who had nothing else to do but talk about other kids at other grades and meeting individuals who owned several businesses and were professional in their fields.
For many people, it looked like I had it all figured out. My grades were on the top, I was involved with various activities at school and outside of it, but there was this one thing that always bothered me. I could not find my identity and didn’t know where I belong to. I could not find the friends that shared the same interests and tastes with me. So, I thought I should be friends with the popular kids, since they had it all. I literally convinced myself for a period of time that I had the same hobbies as they did and we were really similar (though we totally were not). Well, I’m not an exception. Researchers at the University of Oregon surveyed more than 1,200 middle school students and asked them to identify their three best friends. They found that students whose friends were prone to misbehave didn’t do as well in school as kids whose friends were socially active in positive ways, such as participating in sports at school or completing their homework on time.
As I studied part of high school at a different place and in a different country (USA) I learned that it’s all about what you want for yourself. If I listened to my friends’ advice I would be stuck in a small hometown in some sort of community college. In fact, I would not totally not be where I am now.
Don’t feel strange if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love and don’t pretend to love the things you don’t understand. It’s kind of hard to figure yourself out and understand who you are as an individual. Sometimes we turn to our friends and the environment we are in to learn the answers to these questions.
The good news is, discovering yourself and witnessing your own growth with the right friends is the greatest joy one could ever think of!