In school, kids are not usually themselves. When a student is at home or with friends, they really show a side of themselves that is not normally seen. Why do kids do this? Are they afraid that they will be judged or people will not like them for themselves? This is a big fear for most kids. A lot of students say they don’t change. I have said that before, but I do change in school. 

For many kids, it is a habit that needs to be broken. We can’t be too expressive or we get called annoying by our peers.

With how much bullying has been going on in schools, why wouldn’t kids change themselves? In the U.S, 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 have been bullied throughout the school year. If a student is being bullied or pressured into a friend group they don’t want to be in, they will end up changing. They want to be the cool kid or the popular kid but that doesn’t matter. The kids that change themselves don’t know who they truly are.  

If there wasn’t as much bullying and the need for perfection, maybe this wouldn’t happen as much. All students want in school is not to be the odd one out or the person no one talks to at lunch. In order to not feel different, kids change themselves. This can make them more afraid to act naturally. When they actually are themselves, they feel like it’s wrong or that’s not them.

Some change can be good. However, when students change for other people, it can make it to where you don't recognize the friend you grew up with and no one wants that to happen. Kids should realize that we don’t have to be perfect and we don’t have to change ourselves to fit into the crowd. I feel kids will be happier with themselves and with their peers. 

Kara Wessel is an eighth-grader at Lansing Middle School.