Sunday, September 27, 2015

Break These Rule: 35 YA Authors on Speaking Up, Standing Out and Being Yourself

Have you ever felt like you just aren't good enough? Have you ever compared yourself to the model on a magazine cover and felt like there was something wrong with the way you looked?  Have you ever been told that because you are a boy you have to like sports, play them and be good at it too? Have you ever heard the phrases, "be a man" or "boys don't cry" and felt like something was wrong with you if you did show emotions? Do you feel pressured to give up your self-identity because you need to  be "normal" and "fit in?" 


Growing up is hard enough without all the superfluous rules-spoken and unspoken, that life throws at us. Children, teens and young adults are born into a society where they are pressured  to behave in a certain way because of their age or gender, and do so without arguing. People look at you in a strange way if you tell them you aren't going to college straight after high school. Girls are told that they have to be thin like a model or  to dress a certain way because that is "the fashion." Boys are told they aren't "manly" if they cry or that they have to like sports because its "the guy thing to do." How unfair! 

Teenagers are faced with pressures that make them resent society, compromise their beliefs and morals and have a distorted outlook on life. They are programed to think that "going off the path" or being "different" is wrong. Instead of teaching teenagers that being an individual is wrong, society should encourage them to be unique and be happy! It takes strength and courage to speak up, stand out and be yourself! 

Break These Rules is a collection of 35 short essays written by famous authors who share their personal stories about how they learned to speak up, stand out and realize it is 100% acceptable to be yourself! 

As a teenager in today's society I am constantly grappling with the idea of being myself or giving into peer pressure and "following the crowd." I have learned that sometimes it can be challenging to balance individuality and fitting in.  Having read Break These Rules opened my eyes to different techniques, advice and a new perspective from adults who have gone through similar situations. 

It is normal to struggle while finding yourself. Reading Break These Rules is definitely a step in the right direction to ending the battle. 

Remember to always Break These Rules and be yourself!