I tried to change myself so you don’t have to: Lessons from a senior


At the beginning of most books there is a blurb, a short description or overview that entices you to read.  I once read the blurb of  “I Tried to Change So You Don’t Have to: True Life Lessons” by Loni Love from The Real (yes, I watch daytime TV). It talked about being yourself and not changing for anybody. “Well what is my blurb?,” I thought.

Over the past six years, I’ve been about 10 different people. I’ve been the shy girl, the smart girl, the awkward girl (I still am proudly)… but I’ve never really been Ozichi. If you asked me what my interests were, it probably revolved around what everyone else was into at the time. I wasn’t really sure who I was at the time.

When I went to high school, I thought this would change, that I could somehow instantly become my own person with my own passions, but that wasn’t the case. I was too scared to say what I actually was actually interested in for fear of not being liked or being ridiculed. I spent so much time being someone else for other people. 

During the beginning of 10th grade, my brother passed away. He was so incredibly unique. He didn’t care what anybody said about his style or interests, which was what I admired most about him. After having such a stagnant period in my life, reality caught up with me. There is no time to be someone else. During this time, I also started to question myself. I realized that I took individuality for granted. 

It wasn’t until COVID hit a couple months later that I was forced to be alone even more than I already was. When school had first shut down, I didn’t know what to do with myself. This was a time where I really dove deep into what I was interested in before such as music, calligraphy, games (I literally only play the Sims 4 but you catch my drift), and design. Amidst such worrying times, I felt liberated being myself.

I’ve gone through so many different phases and obsessions throughout these past couple of years, but I think that’s what makes us unique. Everyone has their own thing in life. That isn’t to say that you need to find what you’re interested in as soon as possible. Everything comes with time and there is no reason to be ashamed of what you like. Chances are you’ll find people who are interested in the same things that you are.

As I head to college, I am glad that I know who I am (kind of). Instead of 10 people, I am about five but they are all “the people” I want in my life and that makes me who I am.