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Don’t just do something because that’s what everyone else is doing. Learn to think for yourself.

When you’re in high school it can be really hard to be yourself. Everyone seems to act, talk, and dress the same. Being yourself can actually be scary. You may be afraid of being rejected or ridiculed, but it’s important to be yourself and not just follow the crowd.

[Related: Don’t Buy Into That Stupid Power Dynamic]

Drawbacks of Being a Follower

When you are a follower your opinions, beliefs, and idea aren’t being supported. You are trying so hard to be like those around you that you forget what really matters to you. It can cause you to infringe on your morals and maybe even do things you’ll regret.

People can tell when you are just being a follower. It’s noticeable when who you are changes depending on who you are around. We should all try to have integrity. Integrity is all about being the same person no matter where you go or who you’re with.

[Related: How to Have Integrity]

Think for Yourself and Be Yourself

It’s important to think for yourself. Everyone is unique. When you try to change who you are to be like someone else, you are compromising yourself. At some point, the person you are trying to be won’t be around. You’ll end up in a situation where you have to formulate your own thoughts and opinions, and if you don’t do that now, it will be harder to do in the future.

Not being a follower doesn’t mean you have to be a leader. Just because you don’t strive to be like other people doesn’t mean you have to be an outspoken person. You can just be a watcher and learner. You can learn from the way other people act and use those observations to better yourself.

[Related: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others]

Being a doormat for others isn’t a good thing. You should put effort into being yourself and standing up for the things you believe in. You can be with others and learn and grow from them without losing yourself in the process.

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Why do you think so many people in high school are followers?
  3. Who is an example of a great leader you’ve known? Why do you think they’re great?
  4. Would you consider yourself a follower? Why or why not?
  5. Do you think it’s ever okay to be a follower? Explain.
  6. What are some of the things that prevent people from being themselves at school, home, or elsewhere?
  7. What are some ways you can have integrity and start being yourself everywhere you go?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.