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Don't Worry What Others Think

By Xinyue "Lucy" Wang
When I was writing this speech, I spent forever deleting the first few lines over and over. Why? Because I didn’t know what I should say so people would like my speech. And, this is my problem: I care way too much about what others think of me.
When I get a low grade, I become worried. Not because the grade is low. Instead, I become worried thinking about my parents, my classmates, my teachers, and a whole bunch of other random people, some I have only met once in my life. I would think about what they would think of me.
The truth is, I always try to live up to other’s expectations. Which is just stupid, very stupid.
I’ve heard many people saying that I’m perfect. But my life is far from perfect. In fact, who’s perfect?
Even though I know this, I can’t stop myself from concentrating on my imperfections. At the same time, I stress over thinking about losing some titles, such as the Highest Overall Average. Believe it or not, I hate that title sometimes.
The school year always begins very difficultly for me, and this year is no exception. Being a prefect, I have to push myself to socialize and get to know people. And that’s something I’m always afraid of because I’m not confident that I can be the one that others like. It is just impossible and tiring.
But just for trying to do that, I was wrong.
Be yourself, a friend of mine told me one day. Be yourself, he said, and those who truly like you will eventually come to you. These words made me reflect upon myself.
For such a long time, I tried so hard to make myself into what others like. But what I didn’t notice is that by doing so, I might have lost the true me.
Two weeks ago, I was feeling quite down for a few days. I was simply too tired to keep a happy face all day along. I decided to give myself a break from pretending to be who I’m not. As a result, I lost some of the friendships I tried so hard to build and keep.
But some stayed, and new people came. And it was around those people who were still with me when I was being myself that I was able to feel true happiness and relax.
I am not trying to teach you how to be yourself and be confident, because right now, feeling my heart almost pounding out of my chest, wondering what each of you are thinking about my speech, I really don’t think I can give you any great advice. But here is something I know: most of the time when we worry about what other people think, the truth is, others don’t care.
So, speaking not only to the rest of you, but also to myself: Stop doing what you don’t want to do to please others. Stop putting on a happy face when you’re down. Stop trying to live up to others’ expectations. After all, school is so tiring already, so why waste more energy on pretending and lying to yourself?
Listen to your own heart, do what makes you feel comfortable and always, always be yourself.