School is a minefield. You’re thinking about friendships, boys, homework, extra-curricular’s, planning how to run away from home,* your instagram profile, school grades and what the hell you want to be when you grow up. (On that topic, check out what the ENID girls wanted to be.) And you think that would be enough for the world. But the hardest thing is figuring out how you can actually be yourself. And who you really are.
At ENID we want you to be yourself. To feel completely comfortable with being a little bit quirky, wearing weird things, loving sport or simply wanting to read a book at lunch. But at ENID we also know that we didn’t really know who we were at school – were we one of the ‘cool kids’ or the ‘jock kids’ or the ‘super studious kids’? Was being included in these groups part of our personality or were we simply acting like that to fit in?**
We’re sorry to tell you but we don’t have a precise, scientific answer for you, but what we can tell you, is figuring out who you really are takes time, patience and a little bit of trial and error…
Friendships: figuring out who you want to surround yourself with is part of figuring out who you actually are.
Throughout your life you will have friends that come and go. Hopefully most will stay. But some friendships just aren’t meant to last. You learn from these friendships – you learn about yourself. Maybe you don’t like friends that get too close? Maybe you like your personal space and don’t want to message all the time? Or maybe you need someone there all the time? For example, I’m not a 24/7 message me kind of gal – I suck at replying (always have and always will) and also do not want to be in constant contact with anyone (#sorrynotsorry).
You also learn about what traits you value in friendships – is it loyalty or honesty or someone that is simply fun to be around? The traits that you like in somebody else also often reflect who you want to be as a friend. Just remember that those friends you choose to hang out with everyday will rub off on you to some degree. And will have some influence over who you become (so choose wisely, and pick kindly).
Each friendship and friendship group is simply a learning experience – they will help you figure out when you’re happiest and most content. Whether you like to be challenged in a friendship and debate topics? Or whether you want to discuss music, sport and current events? Or whether you want a friend to eat marshmallows with and talk about boys? And maybe you want to do all three! Most importantly, you can have different types of friends, and each can fulfill a different part of your life. Don’t limit yourself.
In finding out who you like to be around, you are one step closer to figuring out who you really are!
Not fitting in: we know this feeling sucks sometimes. But not fitting in is actually part of learning who you are.
There are groups of people you stumble upon where you think to yourself, “they’re just not my people,” or environments that might “not be your world.” Although at the time this feeling sucks, and you try so hard to fit in. In fact, this is okay. It is learning who you are, what your interests are and where you actually do fit in. While it may hurt at the time; simply think of it as affirmation of your personality and who you like to be around. These experiences will mean you won’t put yourself in this situation again – and that’s totally worth that awful gut feeling of “I do not belong here.”
Then one day, you will find you have spent the entire day simply being yourself – you have not thought about the moment, questioned your existence, or thought about what everyone is thinking about you. You have simply been content with the situation. This feeling is finding out who you really are – so savor it, and click repeat (#eatsleepfindselfrepeat).
On the topic of whether ENID has figured herself(s) out, we think we know who we are now; who we like to hang out with; which friends we’ve kept in our lives and where we want our lives to go (kinda…). This took time. It took a ton of different friendships, a ton of different experiences and a whole lot of thinking/trying/doing and reflecting.
Most importantly, try and be yourself every day. Speak when you want (lose that filter sometimes – it’s liberating!) and don’t be scared of being laughed at. Don’t think about what everyone else will think. And you’ll figure out who you really are and the kind of person you want to be.
*Warning: bad idea, don’t do that. If you need to talk to someone about your home environment, reach out to a someone at school or send us a message at ASK ENID.
**Groups and stereotypes can suck sometimes (although they can be fun for dress up parties). We have been every stereotype at some point in our short lives so far – and we are 100% okay with that.