“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” — Dr. Suess
This quote always makes me ponder the fact that no two individuals can ever be the same. Everyone is unique and this uniqueness is what sets us apart. In a place like college, where peer pressure and the desire to be part of a group is so immense, people tend to neglect the beauty of standing your own ground. This in no way implies a complete rejection of group norms, it is simply knowing who you are and how you portray your personality.
It is easy to mindlessly repeat what others say, but standing out is what takes real courage — it is what actually counts. Building on that thought, I would like to share some of the ways in which you can stand out among the crowd.
I know you’ve heard it a thousand times, but confidence is key. Do not roll your eyes yet. Confidence is nothing but believing in who and what you are. Don’t we wish to be the person who enters any room and instantly becomes friends with everyone? Someone whose presence is felt and appreciated? Here’s the secret to confidence — Fake it ‘til you make it. Not everyone is an extrovert and I totally understand that, which is why I am challenging you to pretend to be confident for the next 21 days. Just step out of your comfort zone and I promise you, it’ll be worth it. Even if you are wrong or have no clue what you are doing, pretend to keep it together anyway. Tell yourself that you already are a lively, confident and charming person who instantly lights up the room.
Find Your Drive
Each one of us has a passion, a unique love for something that only we can understand. When you find your drive, you win half the battle. Following your passion makes you stand out in a way nothing else can. It is extremely satisfying to be working on or for something that you truly believe in. Since I’ve already injected this article with a number of corny lines, here is one more to illustrate my point: “People are prettiest when they talk about something with passion in their eyes.”
Create your own identity
I want you to ask yourself — How do I want people to remember me? What makes my presence significant?
You have the ability to sculpt your identity however you would like — to sculpt at least one quality that would make people look up to you. I have complete faith in you. Yes, you — the one who is reading this article right now. The very fact that you are reading this indicates that you want to be different. So, go ahead, do your thing. Even if it is something as little as creating your own style — do it.
Art, by definition is “the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others.” Remember that art is subjective. People may not always appreciate your work, but that doesn’t mean it is not good enough.