Updated: May 14
Does being successful, driven, and ambitious make you feel isolated amongst your peers? Do you ever get that feeling that you're doing something wrong despite knowing you're on the right path? Do your habits, routine, and way of life come off as odd or strange to other students?
Trust me, this is extremely common in us Teen Leaders. We are wired differently and have unique aspirations compared to other kids. Embracing these aspects and chasing our dreams can often be seen as weird. This makes striving for excellence even harder for our generation.
But why should we be the ones to change? We're trying to make a difference and impact the world. Now is the time to push harder than ever before.
SCHOOL - This doesn't apply to all Teen Leaders, but a majority of them excel in school. More importantly, they work extremely hard at it. In today's society this desire to do well in academics comes off as strange and uncool. That couldn't be further from the truth. Don't shy away or back down from achieving great things in the classroom. Be a leader, or more accurately a pioneer, for this kind of behavior. People can make fun of you all they want for getting good grades, but in the end the jokes on them.
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF - As silly as this may sound, I know many of you can relate. High school can be as dangerous or beneficial as you make it. Oftentimes, kids don't take the time to think about what they are doing to themselves and their future. The pressure to conform and participate in things like vaping, drinking, and drugs can be overwhelming. But this is where Teen Leaders need to stay strong, resist, and do what's right.
If you eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, and take time to relax your productivity and happiness will sky rocket. Why wouldn't you want to be the best version of yourself? Doing these things will only enhance everything else you do.
EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS - For some reason it became the norm to be mediocre and do average work. Just getting by is not the way you should live your life. Many of your classmates won't approve of this driven behavior, but so be it. Going above and beyond shows more about your character than you could ever imagine. Don't be afraid to try new things, put in the extra work, or do the optional project. These actions will have extreme benefits in the long run.
Being a Teen Leader or someone who strives to be the best version of themselves is a difficult task. Not only are your expectations higher, but other people don't understand your motive. This can frustrating, depressing, and confusing all at the same time. But I encourage you to keep pushing and making a difference. Being different is the best thing you can do.
"You can't blend in when you were born to stand out."
- R.J. Palacio