The phase of being in your teens, in this 21st century, is not easy. I repeat, not easy. With being surrounded by a whole lot of things, and having to balance yourself with each one of them, you tend to screw yourself up. Well, almost…
In the whole ball-game, life begins to feel pretty messed up. A few things, if not all, go haywire, hit bottoms. Relationships seem to be dwindling quick. Friends fade out and new friends replace them. Acquaintances, the term, finally surfaces. And all through, you are just trying to figure out who you are and why do some of your close pals say ‘You were different’.
Most of this, happens when you go to a new college, a new city, or both. Most of this, happens because we feel compelled to be like those we are around.
Seniors, classmates, roommates, batchmates. In that whole phase, we seem to forget who we actually were and tend to become someone we never have been. Without actually realizing what’s happening with us.
This, is a wake up call.
The last few months, I’ve been studying engineering in Pune and have been talking to a whole lot of my friends every once in a while, situated in different parts of the country, studying various courses. Simply said, each one of us has done something we never thought we would. Some have new-found interests in music. Some develop a knack of watching movies and TV series, and can never get tired of watching them. Some smoke. Some drink. Some eat what they supposedly swore they never would. Some lose friends. Some let friends go. Some blend-in. Some just go with the flow. Some, hold their places and stay left out. Some, do all of this.
The phase we’re in is something, no adult, no one who is above their mid-20s now, would understand. And that’s simple. They haven’t been where we are today.
The necessity to make friends, be friends with those who are around you, staying with you, studying with you, to be a part of the crowd instead of the one who’s a topic of the college gossip, makes us forget all the principles we had listed for ourselves, before we turned 15.
Peer pressure, as many would want to term it, is much different. I know you’d beg to differ, but just trust me, it is different. No one pressurizes us to be that person. We choose to be that person who’d be one of the many, who’d be liked, who everyone would love, who we assume no one would gossip about (even guys gossip, #TrueStory), and over everything else, won’t be lonely.
It’s loneliness that’s the crucial factor that plays its role here. The world keeps moving, it’s this loneliness that prevails. The loneliness that makes us humane and also slowly tortures us, while we choose to stay away from feeling compelled. We try to hold our grounds but lose it after one point. Not giving in to the peer pressure, but, giving in to our own urge to not be the one who is different.
It’s not about our behaviour. It’s about our feelings. We sub-consciously tend to make that change of outlook happen. Into those of someone else’s opinions, over those to whom we’ve listened to thus far. We all do that, and there’s not even a bit of denial. And if you deny it, it’s sub-conscious and something we don’t even feel we do. But, we do.
To be a part of the ‘it’ crowd? Not really. Out of loneliness.
In a new environment, we don’t make friends. We force ourselves to get adjusted to those around us, and call them friends. Because, in the end, we need to be comfortable around those we are gonna be with. Some, if we’re lucky, turn out to be really good friends in the long run. Others, friendships of convenience, of need, and those to be. And we change for these. All except for the real friendships.
We’ll click photographs, promise ourselves of supposedly creating memories. And 3 years after the graduation, we won’t even know where these so-special people, with whom we’ve clicked a few hundreds of photographs are, for the simple reason that we got busy with our lives.
There. We would’ve maintained our relationships that were around for the period that actually mattered. We have a 1000 friends on Facebook and an over-flowing contact list on our cell phones, but just a few tens whom we call and actually chat with. And the reality being, we took these few for granted and hurt them while giving those other hundreds much more than just a part of our lives, and changing for them.
It’s a compulsion of being friends and of maintaining relationships that we burden ourselves with. Not the compulsion of the so-called and dreaded bad habits.
This is a profound, yet simple reality. To not be who you are, who you have been and to not be influenced, yet to change and see yourself in a different light… It’s funny, weird, and somehow sounds absurdly logical. Some food for thought, I believe.
Until the next post… Adios!