Fitting In

My Thoughts

After Georgina’s recent post on here “it’s nice to be nice” I felt super inspired to write about something I have personally struggled with until quite recently, the importance of fitting in. Heads up, this probably won’t be as intellectually written but I hope it is just as raw and thought provoking. So, here goes.

I feel like the subject of ‘fitting in’ is merely brushed over and actually never really talked about, when I genuinely believe that it can be so detrimental to a person’s life, their view of themselves and their self-esteem.

I’m going to start with my experience of secondary school. I truly envy those that can look back on their school days as the best in their lives because for me they were quite the opposite, for a few reasons admittedly, but the main one being my sacrifice of being myself in order to fit in.

I’m still unsure if it was just me, but throughout school I always felt this over powering feeling that it was so crucial to fit in, so much so that I let it consume me and dictate pretty much every decision of mine. I was a massive people-pleaser back then and I went through my years at school trying desperately hard to secure my place in the ‘popular group’ (you all know what group I’m talking about, every year has one) which I guess I did eventually, but it wasn’t easy and definitely took its toll.

Looking back, it is so clear to me that I was never similar to the majority of the girls I associated myself with, but while I was there living it, I’m sure I’m not the only one who just wanted an easy ride through school and for some reason popularity seemed, to me, to be the simplest answer.

The way I describe my experience of school to people who ask now is that it was simply an act, I was acting a part. I can’t put into words how emotionally draining and confusing it is to not allow yourself to be you. It got to the point where I didn’t even know my own opinions on things, whether that be the latest drama or politics, I just went with what everyone else was saying because that felt so much easier than speaking up and potentially being different.

I ended up just closing myself off from everything, just pretty much sitting in silence and letting my last few years of school just go by. Until I didn’t. I don’t know what made me snap out of it, but something did, and I realised what I had been doing, all the time I had wasted trying to be like other people, and it wasn’t a nice feeling at all. I literally woke up one morning mid-year-thirteen and vowed to myself that as soon as I left the school grounds after my last A-Level exam I was leaving everything that came with it behind. It was a simple but not easy decision to make, it’s quite daunting knowing you’re about to leave a load of people behind but I definitely needed to do it.

Two years on and I have the most amazing friends from college and work.  Friends that actually love me for me and don’t need me to be the same as them. It’s the most freeing feeling, letting yourself be you.

I left so many people behind when I left school, but I knew that I would never be alone, and that’s down to my family, who (quick shout out) are the best people in my life. The most important. The only people that knew who I was even when I didn’t know it myself and I couldn’t have done it without them. For someone who was so dependent on other people, my family made it so easy for me to walk away from every negative thing/person in my life and I will forever be grateful. I owe Sarah for this too, we found each other when we were both vulnerable, for different reasons, but we both got each other through a lot, and I don’t know where I’d be without her.

The point of me sharing all of that, was so that when I say the following it makes sense.

‘Fitting in’ is not worth your happiness. Ever.

I wasted a good six years of my life so concerned about what other people thought of me, so consumed in the importance of being popular and fitting in, that I lost myself. I left year thirteen not having a clue who I really was or what I wanted out of life, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

If I could go back, or tell anyone that might be struggling with fitting in at school, as cliché as it sounds I’d just say be you. If sitting alone on a bench in the school field reading a book makes you happy, do it. If you want to join EVERY sports club offered even though it might take up your lunch hour with friends, do it.

Don’t let anyone else influence your decisions. It’s not worth it. I promise you, as soon as you leave school no one cares who went to that house party in year 9 (the one it felt like everyone was invited to except you), no one cares who had the most boyfriends or who was in the ‘popular group’. It’s honestly funny to me now, and to see people still consumed with it all is crazy to me.

To sum it up, you will find people who will love you for you, and all the flaws that come with it, that is the most natural friendship/love and it’s the only kind I want to feel.

Amelia xo

It’s Nice to be Nice

My Thoughts

Honestly for a long time, when I was thinking about writing this post, I was pretty sure I was going to title it ‘It’s Cool to Be Kind’ and jump on that bandwagon.  But when I think about the concept of being nice and the concept of being cool, I’m just not completely sold on the idea that they are so compatible.  To be socially ‘cool’ is a perception of an individual based on how they are viewed by other people – it’s an aspect of identity that is given to you by others. Being ‘cool’ also holds positive social value and so naturally this leads people to engage in behaviours that are socially approved and therefore will lead to them being thought of as ‘cool’.  In a society that is so dominated by quick paced changes to current trends and ideas, I think linking kindness and niceness to this is dangerous.  The idea that it is ‘cool’ now but could quickly become uncool is unsettling and being nice is too important to be based on such a constant flux of opinion. For me, being nice has to come from within and be intrinsically motivated and this stands it in complete contrast from the notion of being ‘cool’.

If we could see everyone we  meet each day as the sum of their life experiences of course it would be so much easier to be nice.  We would then be able to better understand the reasons why people may be behaving in certain ways and empathise with this. But equally, this knowledge would also be somewhat irrelevant. Of course it matters what everyone has been through in their life but this shouldn’t affect the way we treat them.  I strongly believe in the metaphor of all humans balancing on a tightrope – that no matter how strong or weak we may appear, we are all equally as susceptible to falling off.  So why wait until someone has fallen to be nice to them?  What if their falling could have been prevented if we had just been nicer earlier? What if we were just nice to people all the time?

We all have the ability to make such a difference to another person’s life – one simple comment could either be the hand that helps someone continue balancing, or the hand that pushes them off altogether.  A passing phrase that has so small an impact on our lives we may not even remember it, could be the same passing phrase that saves someone’s life, makes someone’s day or worse causes or exacerbates someone’s personal trauma.  According to MIND, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem of some sort each year and anecdotally I’m sure many of us know at least one person who is currently struggling with their mental health.  This makes it all of our responsibilities to think before we speak and to engage in nice behaviours and conversations.  This can only help others and this can only create a positive and supportive atmosphere for us all to live in.

It takes more physical energy to frown than smile and it takes more emotional energy to be negative than to be positive so not only does being nice have social benefits it also has personal ones!  Being nice in turn makes you a more positive person – you see more joy in life and you give more joy to others; it’s the gift that keeps on giving! Clearly no one is perfect, we all have our down days and we all have our own grievances and pet hates that make it really hard to keep being nice.  But that’s exactly when someone else can come to your aid.  In those moments when you are down and you are struggling, imagine what a difference it would make if someone said something nice to you.  Perhaps they put a positive spin on what you perceive as being negative or annoying, perhaps they give you a compliment (* disclaimer), tell you a joke or say something else to lift your mood, perhaps they just listen, understand and empathise with you.  These small acts could change the course of your day, they would spin you out of your negative headspace and land you back into a more positive energy.  Being nice isn’t just about giving to others, it’s completely reciprocal and there is so much to be gained from a community of nice people. It simply comes down to taking a little extra time to think before we speak: are we being nice and are we creating a positive environment for ourselves and for everyone we meet that day?

LETS ALL GET JACKETS, START A CLUB OF NICE PEOPLE AND LIVE HAPPY LIVES GUYS PLEASE.

*disclaimer: I just think it’s really important to emphasize that compliments don’t have to be about physical appearances and can instead be about personality, strength of character, difference of opinion and loads of other cool things that are way more important than what we look like externally x

Written by Georgie Suckling

Xxx

 

My dreamy stay at The Ixian Grand Hotel – Rhodes, Greece

My Thoughts, Travel

If you follow me on Instagram you will probably have seen a few (cough, hundred…) pictures of my recent holiday to Rhodes. Yes, thank you, I had a lovely time!

I wanted to write a post about my holiday, to give a mini review of the hotel and show you some more pictures – because believe it or not, there are more…

So if you are interested in where I stayed, my thoughts and of course, my holiday outfits… Then please keep scrolling!

Advice to My Younger Self – Lessons Learnt So Far

My Thoughts

I am 22 years old, and although that may not sound old enough to have very much hindsight and retrospect, I made it through my teenage years and I experienced a lot. I have learnt many lessons in the (relatively) short time I have lived, and if my advice and guidance can help even one person on their life journey then I’m happy with that.

How to be Happy – Six Fundamental Rules

My Thoughts

I think I speak for everyone when I say that, at the end of the day, all we really want is just to be happy.

Happy people live longer – this is a fact. You can quote me. I also truly believe in the law of attraction, which essentially means that the happier you are and the more positive energy you put out into the world, the more positivity you will attract. So happy people live happy lives, and negative people, well… they don’t!

Social Media – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

My Thoughts

Hello and welcome back to another episode of ‘thinking out loud’ (I think that’s what I am going to call these little ranty opinion pieces…) do you think Ed Sheeran will mind?

Today I really want to talk about social media, and the amazing but also devastating impact it can have on peoples’ lives.

So get comfy because I have a feeling this could be a long one!

Social media platforms are incredible. Things like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They keep people connected, and they help people form new connections. They give people a place to be authentically themselves, a place to express their opinions, their style, and their ideas about life. It’s amazing and honestly one of the best things to come out of the internet (other than internet shopping, which is also pretty great).