Having switched schools after my sophomore year in high school, I already felt somewhat out of place as the new girl. Wanting to belong and feel comfortable in a new setting, I felt the only way to achieve this was to open up and talk, which is not always easy. Finding friends that fit you and your values, is not just handed to you on a silver platter. People talk, and not everyone is going to like you. Having to face this amongst high school teenagers who are quick to judge is not easy to deal with. However, I've learned to never sell myself short. Wanting to belong and fears of being rejected can drive a person to be anyone else but him or herself in order to feel acceptance. I feel that you are not respecting yourself as an individual if you continue to associate with people who do not respect you. I strongly believe in the saying, "You must first respect yourself in order to get respect." Being shunned from your fellow peers is the last thing anyone one would want to happen, and can make a person feel stuck in a position that jeopardizes them remaining true to their being. I say," imma do me, how I do me!" Breaking away and starting from scratch is always a little easier when you keep an optimistic attitude in tact, although you may feel like it's impossible from time to time. Feeling alone is only temporary, and only you can make a change. It may not happen over the course of one day or one week, but the more willing you are to branch out and show people who you are, the easier it will be to make a new friend along the way.