The Importance of Not Being a Follower


Natalya Batista, Staff Writer

Being a follower can cause us to compromise ourselves in areas we usually wouldn’t.

We should be the same person we were born to be and be ourselves without following others. In high school there are many followers and people wanting to be like others. You will see a lot of clicks, and mini groups, and the group of people who might feel like they can’t fit in, but then want to follow others in order to feel a part of something that they know in reality they are not capable of.

Speaking from experience, I used to always be the girl who wanted to be friends with everyone and just wanted to fit in. My first day in a new school in Paterson which was School 24, I walked in not knowing anyone except for the 2 people that I knew since the 3rd grade.

I walked in as the new girl and wanted to make new friends. There were the pretty girls who were bossy, and wanted attention. Everyone wanted to be their friend. Then there were the girls who were nice and worried about school work.

Of course, in today’s generation, most girls would want to be a part of the group that gets the most attention and is friends with everyone; and unfortunately, that was me. I was the girl who wanted to be a part of all that nonsense and feel noticed; yes, in the beginning it felt good, but I started to become someone I wasn’t and that brought me down.

I became the girl who wasn’t myself because I decided to follow the path and the people who would lead me in the wrong direction. I started to worry about things that had nothing to do with me…I always felt “cool” and wanted to fight. I had an attitude, my grades dropped, and school (and life) became hard.

As the weeks went by, I started losing friends. I was constantly in situations where I would end up in the office, and phone calls were made home.

All because I started to be a follower and follow girls who had nothing going for themselves. At that time, they really weren’t my friends, and they got away with everything and blamed it on me. That’s the thing, people start to become followers and everything will fall on them in the end and that’s the problem. But, it’s also a consequence for those who want to follow instead of being their own person. I interviewed two students from school and asked them some simple questions…

The Clarion: What does following others mean to you? Do you think it is important to follow?

Adrianna Taylor: Following is a bad thing…I feel like being a follower means to follow a path that isn’t a good one, and following leads you to become something you aren’t.

Ariana Benitez: Following is to copy…following people makes you become someone you aren’t and messes up your life in the long run…it’s important to be who you are and to continue being the person you were born to be.