Embrace Being Different


PHOTO// Varvara Grabova on Unsplash

Caden Nelms, Opinions Editor

Being called “different” seems to always have a negative connotation tied to it. Why? Is it because people think that they will be outcasted if they embrace their differences? Is it because people want to feel like they identify with everyone else?

As cliché as it sounds, everyone is unique in their own way. Many of us hear that growing up, but we don’t actually incorporate it into our own lives. Instead, we hide our differences and judge others that embrace their differences. Then, in return, those people start to hide their uniqueness to fit in with the crowd. As we continue to get older, still suppressing our differences, we become comfortable not being our true selves. 

For me, I suppressed these differences until it started affecting my mental health. Eventually, I had to embrace my differences. For me, it was my disability. It was impossible to hide, but I definitely tried to avoid talking about it or accepting it for as long as I could. It took graduating high school, coming to Piedmont, being exposed to a diverse community and learning what mental health was before truly accepting my disability. Just because I accepted it doesn’t mean that I don’t still struggle with being open about my differences, but it is a lot simpler than it was less than three years ago.

I don’t tell everyone my struggles to seek pity, but rather encourage others to feel comfortable with their differences. I promise that if you quit hiding your true, amazing self, you will become so much happier and feel free. Be your unique self and you will find people that relate to you!