What Does BE YOU Mean to You?

by Lauren Whelan

The term “Be You” is constantly said to us as children, teenagers, and even adults. We are told that it is simple, “just be yourself,” and “be yourself, and everyone will like you.” But in life, these words are sent to the back of our brains, especially when we are put in a situation involving peer pressure. If we change who we are, we have the opportunity to be not only liked and valued but chosen. As humans, we are born with psychological needs, and the needs for belonging and love are ranked high up in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which we humans strive to meet. People of all ages have the desire to be liked, and just being ourselves sometimes does not achieve that goal. So, when there is a chance to be liked or to fit in with a group, we take it.

Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

Growing up, making friends was almost effortless as you would begin by befriending other children in your class in school, sports team, or other activity that you were involved in. As you grow older, your personality changes, and you either hold on to your friendship with childhood friends or, most of the time, grow apart and break it off. Some of us would do anything possible to stay within our friend group, even make choices that question our character. Others may break old friendships off, befriend new people, and get caught up in the wrong crowd. Adults tell us that it’s so easy to be ourselves; just don’t travel down the wrong path. But when the wrong path seems like the only path to friendship, we begin to lose ourselves.

The term “Be You” represents a different path, one that will eventually lead to victory. It can be tough to see, but there is security and pure happiness when we stay true to ourselves and our character. When we take the wrong path, we may be offered a short term social image and temporary relief. Although we may gain friends, if we are not our true self when we go down this path, no one will genuinely like us for who we are. Real friends are accepting and loving and never trying to change you.

Sometimes it may take going down this path to see how destructive it may have been, but all of life’s beauty is revealed when we let go. That is what I think is the meaning of “Be You,” when you are nothing but your true self, and you make no apologies for the person you are, even if you are the only one around to see it. Only then will you feel joy, and through it, you become the most beautiful and happy version of yourself.

Be True to Yourself