I love reading my fellow Precollege bloggers’ posts, and when I read Sophia’s post on fitting fashion into high school, I couldn’t help but feel a little envious. I’ve always wished I had gone to a creative school in Manhattan. Instead, I go to a public school in the suburbs of Long Island where all the money gets poured into a science research program that still can’t compete with those of some of the schools around.
Fashion is something I have always loved and felt a deep passion for. However, where I live, creativity really isn’t an admirable trait. The creative ones are discouraged from being who they really are; in fact, they are encouraged to pursue other interests. The creative ones are coincidentally the ones with bright blue hair and 10 different piercings, labeling them as the “art freaks”. Parents of the “art freaks” are looked down upon, since they did not raise their children in the same conservative way that the rest did.
The only respected kids are the ones that want to be doctors and lawyers; the ones that got into the Ivys (and the like) get a congratulatory hug from basically all of the school’s staff, while those going to art or fashion schools get a meek smile at best.
I used to succumb to the standards that were set upon me. My parents are very conservative, and I used to follow suit. However, this past month in Manhattan, as well as my classes at FIT, have taught me so much. Loving art or fashion is not a bad thing. Being creative is just as impressive as being good at math or science. Maybe it is even more impressive, since the creative ones are able to survive being torn down time and time again. I was never into math or science. I wanted to read, and write, and design. I wanted to create. I’ve finally accepted who I am and who I’m not.
Hiding myself away only made me miserable. Ever since I have started being more real with myself, I’ve been so much happier. I can’t wait to go to FIT this fall. I can’t wait to be in a place where I am fully accepted for who I am, what I love, and what I’m good at. I am so excited; I feel like I’m finally going to find my niche.
But something even more important that finally getting to go somewhere where I finally fit in is the realization that I should have never let other people get to me. I should have always just been myself. I should have never have tried to hide away the part of myself that so desperately wanted to be free.
I apologize for being so cliché, but don’t be ashamed of who you are. Once you really accept yourself and embrace who you truly are, others will follow suit. The only way to be truly happy in life is to be who you really are, not what other people want you or expect you to be.
Now I’m not saying that piercings and unnaturally colored hair necessarily correlate with being creative or loving art, but I have always wanted to have purple hair…