Conformity Vs. Individuality | Teen Ink

Conformity Vs. Individuality

August 17, 2011
By bgirlnumber4 GOLD, Vancouver, Washington
bgirlnumber4 GOLD, Vancouver, Washington
11 articles 11 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be yourself, Everyone else is already taken

As I walked through the doors the smell of teen hormones and fear overcame me. A choice lay before each new comer, to join the conformity in hopes of surviving the mercy lacking walls of the school, A rare few may even stand up and push themselves out of their everyday comfort zone. Some may choose to try to make a difference (while it is always much easier said than done). Others may just want to test themselves and try to grow as a person. Middle school for most is a difficult environment, unless a person who is presented with the gift of avoiding the awkward baby fat, gangly limbs, and annoying blemishes that speckled many foreheads and noses middle school is a very difficult time of life.

Which of these was I? Would I try to be the type that blends in, slouching while a teacher asked a question in hopes that he or she may not notice me? Like many others I was not gifted with the ability to miss the awkward stages of my growth. Was I one of the few who decided to try to stand out amongst the crowd? None of the decisions are poor. It is perfectly understandable to wish to blend in a harsh environment. I on the other had decided that I wasn’t going to do that. Upon the first two weeks of school I saw a poster inviting sixth graders to join an election for a sixth grade representative. Deciding I would do this was not something that took me long to do, the thought of getting up and talking to the whole school scared me, however I saw it as a fun challenge that I was ready to take.

Upon the first election I got up, dressed in my best skirt and blouse, my theme was “Vote for Maddy, Because she is Better than a crabby Patty” my poster that hung against the old walls in Pacific Middle school with a giant picture of Spongebob Squarepants grinning ear to ear with a thumbs up. My speech for Election Day was printed on a pink paper that had a floral pattern around the edges. Printer paper would not make my campaign any better. It was only a soft touch that would make me feel more comfortable as I faced the crowd of my fellow tweens. I managed to make it through my speech, stumbling once or twice. I felt comfortable with my campaign, and I left it to the students to decide whether or not I would gain the spot. Unfortunately I did not win that election.

Later that year the elections came around again, this time I ran for Treasurer. Once again I tried my best to come up with a catchy slogan, and pretty creative posters to catch the passersby’s attention. Election Day came around, and I wore my Favorite blue jean skirt and a pink shirt. I sat on the bleachers waiting for my turn to speak, this election my speech was typed on plain white paper with no extra frills. As they called my name I went to get up, however my skirt seemed to stick for a moment, I looked back and saw that I had sat in a person’s lazily spit out gum. Instead of running shyly into the bathroom to attempt to take the gum out of my skirt, I proceeded walking forward, breaking the strand of gum from the bleachers and my pretty jean skirt as I stepped closer to the podium. I went through my speech, this time there were less stumbles than before. However unfortunately that time I fell short a couple of votes. Although I lost my favorite skirt to the previous election, I did not lose my will power to get a spot in student council.

Eighth grade elections came around. It was going to be my last chance to get that spot. This year I was going to put everything into it, I ran for Vice president and made more posters than I had ever made before. This election however was the most difficult that I had ever been in. My opponents team ran around the school tearing my posters down, spreading rumors, when it came to be my speech I made sure I hadn’t sat in another’s gum, however when I began to speak a group of the football players ran behind the stage heckling over my speech. Without stumbling I continued, finishing the speech without a single stumble, feeling proud of myself. I could have let the previous losses make me give up on trying again. I almost gave up mid election in fear of more humiliation. These all would have been easier for me to get through but instead of giving up I kept at it. In the end I ended up winning the election with a surprising landslide of votes. When it comes to choosing between conformity and Individuality I believe that individuality is the best choice. Conformity can be a nice comfort at times. However the reward of being an individual can be much more exciting.

The author's comments:
This is my summer HW for my Ap Literature class.. felt like posting it on here before i turned it in to see what you all think :) hope you enjoy!!

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This article has 1 comment.

M&M37 said...
on Oct. 4 2017 at 7:48 pm
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Hi, I really enjoyed your piece! I've been looking for a piece about individuality for a while now, because I'm in Speech and Debate and needed a prose piece for our first competition. I also ran for Student Council three times, lost the first two, and finally won the third. I found your piece to be really uplifting! I was wondering if you'd be okay with me using it for my prose piece? If so, and if there's a pen name I could use for you when I read off the author's name I would greatly appreciate it!