I wouldn’t blame anyone who tries to hide who they indeed are. It is human nature to want to fit in, blending in with the crowd rather than standing out. We tend to embrace genericness as long as it conforms to social standards. We wear a mask to say we are just like everyone else.
People tend to disregard the true purpose of growing up: discovering the self and the more incredible world we inhabit. Yet, despite such a noble purpose, we ignore it in favor of staying in our comfort zones. We shy away from any potential to grow and become a whole version of ourselves simply because we are scared of being labeled outcasts, cast out by society’s ever-so-dwindling standards.
I say all this as I have come from the experience of wearing a mask; I, like many others, have gone through periods when all I wanted to do was fit in. I found the need to become a downgraded version of myself. I relied on self-deprecating humor and injury comedy to gain the appeal of everyone. I played the jester role, a position that brought me the appeal of everyone. Hidden between the laughs were the cries of an adolescent who wanted to be like everyone else.
A boy who feared the inevitable loneliness that crept towards him inch by inch each day is now ready to conquer his ways.
Now, I have grown. I have realized my place in the world and have chosen the role I want to play. I am no longer reliant on the applause of the crowds. I do not tell this deeply personal story of mine to be pitied or to gain sympathy.
Sharing this gives me the closure I need in that chapter of my life and sends a message throughout the student body that if they ever felt out of place or if they ever felt they were just a caricature of themselves, they need to take the time to find themselves and reassess. To the youth growing up in this godforsaken world, you don’t need to follow the crowd wherever they go. You are a being of independent thought; indeed, you can find the path that favors you the most.
Finally, for those who still wear a mask to this day, It will eventually wear and tear, and one day, hopefully, sooner than later, your true self will be free to roam this hallowed Earth, expressing yourself in the best way possible. Be free to make mistakes, and be sure to learn from them. A wise man once said, “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path doesn’t mean they’re lost forever.”
You are who you are; don’t let the world take that away.