Advanced Essay #2 [Personas]

The purpose of this essay for me was to describe my experiences I've had with friendships while wearing a mask and having a false persona. I'm proud of my scenes of memory and the connections I made with other sources. One way I want to improve my writing is by strengthening my introductions and my conclusions.

Advanced Essay #2: [Personas]

Currently the norm of our society is having these false external personas. Lots of people act different to fit in because they never feel they belong. Personally, I find myself always wearing these masks and finding myself being fake. I’ve had moments of feeling like a complete outsider within my own friend groups and within my own school. Not knowing if they had changed or if I had changed myself. Reflecting on my experiences, the best way to remain my authentic self is to resist overthinking things, not taking things personally, and focusing on what makes me happy.  

Throughout middle school I had a lot of people I considered my friends, but my memories of them are filled with frustration. This made me resonate with the article, How Technology is Hijacking your Mind, when it states, “Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano” (Harris, 2016). This quote really reminded me of my middle school experience, how people treated me and knew what would bother me. It makes me feel like even when I was apart of that friend group I was still different from them. We would all go to this one kids house and all hangout in his basement. It always seemed like they were all flirting with each other and just teasing each other, but I just wanted to play games and have fun with them. I was stuck in a cycle of not wanting to hangout with them cause I knew I wouldn’t like what they were doing or feeling left out and alone without anyone else to go.

When I came to SLA I was hoping to have a solid group of friends who I could always go to and talk to. Freshman year I was in about 4 separate friend groups, one with a bunch of guys, two different groups of girls, and the kids from the robotics clubs. Slowly as time went on I found myself drifting from each group of friends feeling unwanted or like I didn’t fit in. A large portion of my humor had become pushing people's buttons from my middle school experiences and I always was worried afterwards whether I’d gone to far it feels like I’m disconnecting and seperating myself from them. I’d find myself changing my humor to fit in with them and adapting to their typical mindset. Social media was been a prominent piece in my shifting mindset and continues to affect me today.

Seeing my friends having a good time without me on social media always makes me feel like I’m not a part of the friend group. I feel like I’m a side character in a TV show that sometimes speaks, but is usually in the background like Gunther from friends. Again I find myself agreeing with the article, How Technology is Hijacking your Mind, specifically when it states, “Technology hijacks the way we perceive our choices and replaces them with new ones.” This quote relates to how seeing post/ads online can really shift how people think. Expanding on this I relate this to how advertisements use small little tricks and techniques to gain our interest and convince us we need the product.

When I was younger and didn’t have social media, if I knew I wasn’t invited to something I’d ask about it and make sure I was invited next time. Nowadays, I just feel like I’ve been stabbed in the gut and It’ll kill me on the inside. However, I can’t share how I feel because I will feel like people pity me, so I hide under my emotional covers and sleep through it. The first time I experienced this was in middle school when my entire friend group decided to go hangout without me, and I felt more hurt than I ever had before. I didn’t even want to confront them about it, I felt like they didn’t care about our friendship and that they wouldn’t care how I felt. I often find myself looking back in time comparing what I had to what I have now, not knowing which brings greater happiness.

Throughout my life there have been standout moments that have made me happier than anything prior. I often find myself looking back to this moments and trying to figure out what could be done to recreate them, or if it was something said I’ll find myself repeating them. This reminded me a lot of the The Great Gatsby, when Gatsby says “Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” This quote helped show how lost Gatsby really was, living off the desire to recreate his past with Daisy. His past with Daisy being one of the solid things that strove him forward.

This however, is where I see some difference with myself. I’m not driven by my past, but by the possibilities of the future. I want to relive elements of my past, but not in the future, I want to relive them now because their all experiences I feel like I can only recreate now and not when I’m older. Recently I’ve seen a lot of my friends from my past and spent the day or a few hours talking and hanging out with them. It always seems so promising and is enjoyable for a while, but then I always find myself talking or listening to our memories of things we’d done. As if our story moving forward is a closed chapter and our friendship is over. With my old middle school friends, a majority of them still hangout, and I’ll message one once and a while. Our interest now is completely different from one another and every conversation is about something we’d done. We always say “We need to hangout,” but nothing ever comes of it. I’ve come to realize that I can’t keep recreating and living off these moments in the past, but my realizations haven’t stopped me.

In the future I want to change who I am and become a person I am truly happy with. I want to be real to my friends and have friends who are real with me. As I grow older, I know at some point these covers and mask will come off at least partially, and I want to make sure the mold they leave beneath is something I’m okay with being. Underneath all of these mask and personas, our real personalities are present, and looking towards the positive can make these personalities something satisfactory.