The age old question – Why am I so weird? In the simplest of terms, you aren’t! Well, I suppose you could be. But not in that negative way you may be feeling, you know, where you’re wondering why you can’t fit in or why you don’t like the same things other people around you do. No what being weird really means is being unique, a nonconformist.
Then why do I feel weird?
There’s no definitive answer for those questions, believe me as a fellow “weirdo” I have tried everything to find them. I sat around and pondered for hours why I was more than happy to get dirty and gross while taking care of horses, why I loved video games, and why I talked about book characters like they were real people. Eventually I realized it was because my interests – as diverse, and maybe peculiar, as they were – were totally my own. I loved them and I was tired of letting people take them away from me as I tried again and again to fit in to what was “normal.” And really who wants to be that version of Spongebob anyway?
All this being said, it’s not easy to just stop thinking of yourself as weird. In my experience this is because we’re often in situations that value people that do the same things. Take a look at your high school, people take the same main classes, are expected to act the same way – even the buildings usually look identical. Looking back on my own high school career, I stood out like crazy. This may be in part a result of having pastel pink hair freshman year – but hey! I wanted pink hair. When you march to the beat of your own drum you’re going to stand out, and this is why you feel so weird. People around you are noticing you’re not like anyone else, but in reality, that’s what makes life so interesting.
How do I meet like-minded people?
As much as it’s important to embrace your own uniqueness, having people around you with common interests makes it so much easier. But how do you do that? Meeting new people can be pretty challenging – you have to put yourself out there a bit – but it’s so worth it!
In high school and college a great way to find people with common interests is by joining clubs. Now you may be worried about the club you’re looking for not existing, but typically it’s very easy to start your own club and then share it in your school’s newsletter or Facebook page. You’ll end up not feeling so weird and you’ll make some great friends!
In college specifically you’ll be picking a major at some point down the line, and you’ll find that in many majors the people you meet are actually a lot like you! This happens quite a lot – I know it happened for me – and I think it’s a big reason why people are always saying things will get better after high school.
Now how do you meet people outside a school setting? It gets a little more tricky, but in my experience if you do a little digging there is a group for everything, and they’re typically open to a wide range of ages. If you can find an activity or a sport you really enjoy, you’re sure to meet people similar to you just by doing it!
Does it really get better after high school?
I think many people have a similar story, it goes: “I didn’t know I wasn’t weird until after high school…” I most definitely had that experience, though I’m hoping you’ll discover you aren’t weird maybe even by the end of this article. For me, graduating high school was incredibly exciting. Did I know what I wanted to do with my life like all my classmates? Absolutely not! And while they may have found that weird, it was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself.
Upon graduating I was able to ditch all of the pressures from high school to “fit in.” Instead I took off to Europe for 2 months, came back, did some basic college classes, got a job, and most importantly looked for things that interested me. After about a year I was ready to focus on a major, I graduated happily in 2019 and guess what? I’m doing a completely different job than I expected and I love it.
Yeah, I think it does
Looking back on it all, I can give a definitive yes it does get better, but you have to let it. And Why not start today? It helps to be able to meet like-minded people, even if you’re more introverted like me, it’s likely you’ll never want to stop talking about something you’re passionate about with others who are also passionate about it.
It’s incredibly challenging to embrace the things that make you, you. In a society that values this extreme level of conformity, but if you work at it a little bit every day, you’ll find that you stop feeling so weird and instead start feeling like this weight has been lifted. It’s a really awesome feeling, and it took me a very long time to get there. But I hope you’re able to find it faster!