What separates me from everyone else? The difference is not what clothes I wear or the music I listen too, but what I feel inside.Ever since I was young, I have loved professional wrestling. I woke up every Saturday to watch my favorite "Superstars." As I grew older, I got a lot of flak for watching this "fake" sport. My peers would laugh at me for following what was called a "man's soap opera." So, I put my love for wrestling on the shelf. Like everyone else, I wanted to be associated with the cool clique. I yearned to be invited to the parties of the in-crowd and hang out with the popular kids. I became pretty successful. Although my Friday evenings were busy with parties, I would still wake up early Saturdays to watch wrestling. It wasn't until freshman year that I realized I wasn't being myself.That year, I tried many new things and activities and made new friends. In my town, football was the sport, so I decided to play football, thinking it might give me a head start in popularity. The team started with 48 athletes. At the end, there were 14 of us left. I stuck it out not because I liked it, but because I am not a quitter. That long season taught me a lesson: I wasn't a football player. More importantly, it taught me to be myself.After that season, I went back to being a wrestling fan. I watched it religiously, no matter what insults were thrown my way. I came across a quote: "Don't Dream It, Be It." When I read this, my friend Dan had the same idea I had. "What if we build a wrestling ring?" we asked. We acquired the necessary wood and equipment for its construction. The following weekend, we met at his house. We saw our dream in a pile in his backyard. We worked from dawn to dusk to build our great establishment. By Sunday night, our mission was complete. Our hard work (combined with a little creativity) had paid off. We had a real ring.We decided to hold an "event." We practiced for hours, trying to improve every aspect of our wrestling ability. The date was May 24th. Our show had a start time of 9: 00 p.m. To our surprise, about one hundred family, friends and fans showed up to support us. It was the most important night of my life and a complete success. Since that time, we have held five shows with as many as two hundred and fifty people turning out. We continue to live this dream. We accomplished what we set out to do.We are now well known throughout school. When I walk down the halls, I am respected by my peers. Some are the same peers who ridiculed me for watching wrestling when I was younger. When they approach me, they often say, "Good match, Chris." I humbly say, "Thank you," knowing I did something I believed in.As my senior year winds down, I'll remember all of my high school memories. But what will stick out most is the memory that I did something I loved, despite what everyone said or thought. I accomplished my goal ... I lived my dream. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
Conformity vs. Individualism Essay
2751 Words12 Pages
We’ve all know what it feels like: walking down the halls in middle school or high school while you feel like you’re being watched…analyzed…critiqued. It would almost seem like every person you passed would be silently judging you for what you’re wearing, how you applied your makeup, how you did in the last soccer game, or what they heard you did with Jonny. The passerby’s in the hallway would place you on the high-school-hierarchy-of-coolness scale based on superficial characteristics even before getting to know you. Adolescence is a time of learning and forming an identity but it’s also a time where you are constantly being watched and evaluated by your peers, sometimes even put down by physical or verbal means. Bullying has always been…show more content…
But conforming to what the majority is doing because it is deemed as cool is a whole different story. Instead of conforming to keep society running smoothly, we sometimes conform due to fear that we will receive hateful backlash for breaking against the norm or in fear that we will be wrong. Solomon Asch explains the latter reason when he conducted an experiment to investigate the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. In his experiment, there was only one true participant and 4 other fake participants that will help prove his point correct. Cards were shown to everyone where there were lines of different length illustrated. They all had to choose which line was the longest. The first four people at the table were the fake participants and purposely chose the wrong answers. The last person was the true participant in the experiment and in all of the experiments they conducted, the last person always went with what the rest of the group thought even though he knew that the answer was incorrect. After the experiment was conducted, the real participants were interviewed and asked why they went along with everyone else even though they knew the answer was incorrect. “Most of them said that they did not really