Being authentic is one of the best things you can do for yourself

Don't get lost in who you want to be, get lost in your most authentic self

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Being authentic is one of the best things you can do for yourself

Claire Boone, JagWire A&E editor

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I’ve noticed that more recently I have really come into my own. By that I mean I’ve been doing things I like simply because I like them.

I stopped faking my interests and I stopped lying to everyone about who I am. I started shopping where I wanted to regardless of whether or not it’s trendy, I started listening to music that makes me happy and I started basing my opinions off of my own beliefs and experiences.

Why? Because authenticity is so vital to a joyful life, in my opinion. To be authentic is to be the most real version of you, and to not fake your interests, habits  or morals. Just to be yourself unapologetically.

My experience with my lack of authenticity was a bumpy road, but was also definitely one I needed to go down. After I learned how stress-free my social life could be, I was able to salvage what was left of the real me and was able hit the ground running with that — after an inevitable identity crisis, of course.

Our social lives as high schoolers are roller-coaster rides with steep hills and smooth curves, and ultimately, very stressful. We constantly worry about where we are going after the varsity sports games, who we should hang out with that day, which social group we should try to get into and so many other things that are a waste of our time.

When you learn to accept your likes, dislikes and morals and values, you will find people who you share these things with. These people accept you for you and relate to you on a whole new level. You no longer have to worry about who to hang out with because you have found your niche.

When your persona changes depending on who you are with, you tend to not know who you really are and that in itself is extremely frustrating. I strongly encourage that you dig deep within yourself to find the rawest form of you and be that person. That person won’t be perfect, and that person will have a hard time accepting themselves in the beginning. But once you climb that steep hill covered in the fear of not seeming “cool,” you are rewarded with individuals who think you are astonishing regardless of the brand of your clothes, your music taste or your political beliefs. These people will encourage these interests and encourage you to do what makes you happy.

However, if you’ve dug such a deep hole that you have absolutely no clue who you really are or what you believe then that’s OK. You have the chance to rewrite yourself and live out a life of pure joy. I would encourage you to branch out; dip your toes into something new. Take up music, write a poem, go on a run, or simply do whatever suits you. Remembering that you aren’t here to impress anyone is key in this process of finding yourself. Also, getting lost in this whole process is just part of it. I believe that in order to find yourself, you first must become lost.

Become lost in a new interest, in the new relationships you’ve formed and lost within yourself. Surely at that point, everything will become clear as day and you will find comfort in what makes you unique. Your most authentic form is within your being, and I encourage you to go find that and take off running.

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