I remember throughout my younger years of high school, when I was about 14-16 I was so focused on everyone else and on social media that I never really found a great passion or who I really was. I mean I still did a variety of activities and was social but all of my choices were influenced by others.
I remember that I use to straighten my hair literally every day and started to wear eye liner and lip gloss because I believed I looked prettier with straight hair than my natural curly hair. I started changing myself to feel excepted and desired to be like the popular, ‘normal’ Australian teen.
I hung out with a bunch of girls that for the most part were nice, but out of all of them I have only stayed in touch with two. The rest of those girls were people I now look back and can’t believe I let use and control me and that they were people I almost spent everyday with. I allowed social media and current social trends change my opinion and I blindly followed.
During the rest of high school, I experienced what I guess most teenage girls go through. I tried to continuously change myself so I could ‘fit in’. However, now looking back on the last years of high school I wish I didn’t care what others thought of me. I bought specific brands of clothes that were in fashion. I wanted to be skinner, so I went on heaps of different diets and exercise plans. I started wearing more and more make up because I thought it made me more beautiful. I was always jealous of my friends that were skinny, tall and looked like models. They always received so much attention and it seemed like everyone liked them. I wish now, looking back that I had a different perspective and didn’t see everyone, including myself through this materialistic lens that made me less and less of the person I wanted to be.
Honestly, it wasn’t until I finished high school, started to go to university, finished university, started working a lot more, and started travelling that I started to grow in myself, and made choices based on what I believed, not from anyone else.
I became vegetarian (such a foreign/ unthinkable concept, until university).
I became more aware and passionate about environmental issues.
The more I think about it, over the last few years I have chosen to loose contact or end friendships with people that have been negative in my life. I have started to stand up for myself and have become extremely passionate about world issues such us womens rights, human rights and world poverty. I am so grateful for all the topics I learnt at university and became aware of, these have helped shape the person I am and the person I want to be.
I have started questioning everything I was taught to believe and what society makes everyone believe is normal and made a stand in making my own, independent choices.