Love Who You Are

By Saara Shilongo

It’s simple: Never try to be somebody you are not, it is a pure waste of time.

Varsity is one of the places where young people try to re-design themselves, and often their re-invention is an attempt to be like their friends. Speaking from experience, my first year was a huge challenge for me. I never wanted my friends to see me as boring and not cool enough. For this reason, I became a follower. I failed an important lesson: I failed to understand my uniqueness.

There is no a worse experience than being a follower: your self-esteem rises and falls with other people’s opinions of you, it’s a nightmare emotional rollercoaster. In my case it got to a stage where it became unbearable. I had a decision to make: either continue with the charade of being a fake version of me, or shed the mask, brave the opinions and be myself. I had to live my life. And guess what? It wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. I was free to be me and it was the best feeling ever! I made up my mind to set principles for myself and live by them.

In life, if you don’t make your own rules, others will make rules for you and start ruling your life. Always know what you want and why you want it. If people are going to the north, you can’t go to the north because your parents are in the south, you should go to the south and visit yours. You are the only one who truly knows what you want in life and if you keep copying what others are doing, you will never be happy chasing THEIR dreams. If you copy their styles, you are also most likely to copy their mistakes and invite their problems in your life as well.

In most cases, we do things we aren’t suppose to do for the fear of rejection or what others will think about us. True friends don’t judge but correct your wrongs, when they start negatively criticizing, it’s not because you are wrong they are simply showing you their true colours. So, don’t try fitting in when you are meant to stand out. Time is too short to be living someone else’s life. After all YOLO!

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