Basim Hussain: “Be Yourself, Do What You Want”

Basim Hussain:

Steve Lanava

Basim Hussain '20, Sports Editor

Growing up I always heard adults preach the message “just be yourself” but this never held any meaning to me. It just didn’t make sense; how can I not be myself? I’m literally me. It was only when I reached high school that this phrase took on a whole new meaning.

As a wide-eyed freshman, I remember being overly concerned about my social life just like everyone else. I had my friends, but I still felt the need to want to fit in. I wanted to be popular and I wanted everyone to like me. As the school year went on, no matter how hard I tried these things didn’t come. I truly was lost, I didn’t really have a sense of who I was.

Looking back on it I was chasing validation from people that really didn’t matter. I was putting on an act to impress these people when in reality I wasn’t who I made myself out to be. This was a common trend I noticed in a lot of other people around me as well. Personally, my main fear was that I didn’t want to be made fun of. I didn’t want to be looked at as “weird” or as a “loser”; being the odd one out scared me.

Whether I knew it or not I felt a need to be “normal.” I looked at other kids in my grade and in the high school and I thought maybe if I was like them things would turn around. Maybe I’d get invited to events. However, the advice I want to share with you all is that “normal” isn’t a thing. It 100% doesn’t exist. I noticed I was starting to blend in with everybody when I should’ve been trying to stand out. I was making myself unhappy for no good reason.

Close to the end of my sophomore year going into my junior year, I made changes to my mentality. I was ok with being different, in fact, I welcomed it. I decided I was going to do whatever made me happy, regardless of what people thought about it. This is when I saw the most improvement in my life because it was during this time I really began to figure out who I was.

Unless you do what’s in your heart, you’re never going to figure that puzzle out. At the end of the day whatever you do with your life is completely up to you. If you refrain from expressing yourself in fear of the opinions of others, you’ll never come to terms with who you are. Instead, you’ll feel like your locked in a cage.

So to the younger students at Westborough High, make sure you listen to your heart and live life the way you want to live it. Be yourself, be authentic and what’s meant for you will find you.