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March 22, 2006

Discovery

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In the book Stargirl, Stargirl is a strong individual who knows where she came from, knows who she is and where she fits in in life. However, when going to a new school all of her beliefs, morals and even her own unique style is questioned. In my opinion, Stargirl was a very open minded person and did okay when it came to change. Why as a society is it so important to us to conform to a certain group or norm when we all know very well that each person is so unique and individual in their own way?

Posted by at March 22, 2006 4:18 PM | Stargirl

Comments

We feel safety in belonging to a group. It can validate our feelings about ourselves, confirm our self worth. Sometimes I think that we are like pack animals, or have a group-like mentality. Those unafraid to soar above the flock are often left alone. But in that alone-ness they see life from a different perspective, are freed from the influence of others, and can hear their own thoughts clearly directing them on their distinct path. As a teacher, I value those who follow their own path, and am interested in listening to ideas that break from the norm.

Posted by: mfwright at March 23, 2006 9:23 AM

A sense of belongingness and acceptance is a basic human need and the most important thing to most adolescents. The transition from childhood into adulthood is a period of emotional and social highs and lows. As humans we have a constant desire to feel loved and needed and we change our attitudes, beliefs, and appearance in order to fulfill these needs. Sometimes the need for acceptance is so second nature, that most of us don’t realize we’re changing ourselves in order to fit in. I think it is important for everyone to feel loved and that they belong to something. However, it is also important for individuals to explore their unique selves. It’s okay to want to fit in sometimes as long as we balance our desire to be part of a group with the chance to shine individually too.

Posted by: Jessica Steinbauer at March 23, 2006 11:21 AM

In society we have a hard time accepting those who are different from us. Races, creeds, personality, physical traits that differ from our own seem to intimidate or cause a feeling of superiority. Throughout history, persecution of those who are different has happened to different groups of people. There have been wars so severe as to punish those who were of a certain belief. The problem in cases such as this and in Stargirl is that it only takes one un-accepting person to turn a bunch of power-hungry people against another. You can say that the students in Mica High were power hungry; what does a teenager want more than anything? A teenager wants to be popular and accepted by others. If to gain acceptance by the masses they must single out one student, for some, the choice is easy. Most teenagers want to slip under the radar and be like everyone else, look like everyone else, act like everyone else, and do the stereotypical tings teenagers do; because that’s just how its supposed to be. Many are afraid to go against the norm and truly be themselves because of situations like Stargirl’s. I know in our classrooms today, I will probably never see someone quite as eccentric as Stargirl; but I secretly hope I do. Just to have an example of how being different and accepting others could be important in their lives. I believe accepting others is going to take time in our society. I strongly believe that we are not born knowing who to discriminate, but it is a learned behavior. Until we stop teaching each other this negative behavior, there are going to be problems.

Posted by: Kristin Wahlund at March 23, 2006 12:27 PM

I think that especially during our teenage years with all the changes that we all experience that everyone is just searching to be cared about and supported. Stargirl had a very strong personality and views of the world, but for a point in the book she decided that other things, fitting in and being with Guy, were more important to her. Being included in a group of peers also makes all the changes and problems teenagers experience seem less scary because they know that others are also experiencing them.

Posted by: Christine Schmitt at March 24, 2006 10:40 AM

Even though it's most evident in adolescents, we as people like to feel like part of a group. It's funny because it seems like a lot of the time, adolescents (and again, all people) WANT to be the center of attention. They want people to laugh at them and they want to stand out. But then they also want to be part of a group. I think it comes back to confidence. Those who have more confidence tend to be the ones who stand out. We don't let our personalities out because we aren't confident about how people will accept them.

Posted by: Amanda Davey at March 26, 2006 10:37 PM

I stated in another blog that I feel we need to conform to other groups because we have insecurities about life or ourselves. Stargirl does not seem to have many insecurities in her life. She is unique and that makes her represent her true self. I admire people who can do this because I think that when it happens, we have truly found ourselves and do not have to rely on others' views, morals, or ideas. We can be ourselves, and we can be happy!

Posted by: Beth Soresnsen at March 27, 2006 5:29 PM

I think that in todays society it is expected to "fit in." Everyone is so scared of being different that they try too hard to be like everyone else. Then again, you see commericals celebrating diversity and uniqueness which is really hypocritical. If we are supposed to celebrate different then why does everyone stress so much on fitting in. I think that its important to know who you are as a person. Maybe its not so much as dressing different or liking different things as it is for just knowing where you stand on certain views. Its also important to know that you have your own opinions about things. Its about loving yourself and being honest with yourself. The other things are just materialistic.

Posted by: Kristin Bochler at March 28, 2006 11:13 AM

I think a lot of times people conform because they don't take the time to think for themselves. We see what is going on around us and assume that what surrounds us is the only way it should be. With the ever-increasing media influences stressing how the "average" person should live, how can anyone be expected to break the mold and expose their true selves? If someone of some status decided that it was cool to be a non-conformist, then there would be a booming trend of individuals. But until then, people will continue to conform and smother their true identities.

Posted by: Jessica Engle at April 6, 2006 12:02 AM

I must agree with all of the above comments conformity. I think that everyone has there stargirl moments. For example, when I am with my very closest friends I can laugh and be silly and not feel judged by them. In these moments I am stargirl. However, I do comform to societal beliefs in other circumstances. In a way it is what you need to do to be sucessful in our world. I wish it was not this way and that we could all be stargirl all of the time!

Posted by: Molly Reppe at April 28, 2006 12:14 PM

Younger people need to be in groups to feel accepted. Kids in middle school have certain groups, and other groups of kids are looked at in certain ways. If a child drifts among different groups they may not be accepted by their friends. It's like they have to talk to certain people in order to be seen as an individual. In fifth and sixth grade I hung out with the "popular" crowd, but I got really sick of all the kids around me. Of course, some of them were still my friends, but I decided to also find new kids to hang out with. This didn't work out. In seventh grade the "popular" crowd didn't even talk to me any more, because I thought some of the less popular kids were more interesting, and hung out with some of them.

Posted by: Brandon Tuttle at April 30, 2006 2:09 PM

People feel comfortable and safe when they belong to a group of people. Also, in today's society I don't think people are as comfortable with themselves as they used to be; therefore, they need to be surrounded by those like themselves. However, I think that there are a few Stargirls in this world who do not conform and choose to befriend everyone, no matter if they are like themselves or not. I think the Stargirls in this world are the people who are most comfortable with themselves because they aren't scared to be different.

Posted by: Anonymous at May 2, 2006 9:46 AM

Your question hit it right on the head. Why is it so important for all of us to conform into what others feel is normal? Who really gives this definition of being normal? The book definately portrayed a girl who was struggling to maintain her own unique identity. All of the students around her were not willing to accept her for who she was unless she changed to what they felt was acceptable and "normal." Even when she did, nothing changed. It's very unfortunate that some people aren't themselves because they are afraid of being part of his norm.

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Posted by: biagra at August 6, 2007 9:32 PM

Its the confidence that adolescence have that must remain in us. Adolescents seem to increase confidence when they really need to. Taking risks, going for what they want, and it makes them more of an achiever by just trying.

They increase confidence not only for themselves but for other people, too. They influence other people which elicits positive attitude to the people.

Posted by: Increase Confidence at August 9, 2007 3:22 PM

I think its because of what the society communicates to the people and that people want to be accepted. We need to feel confident if want to be different.

We really need to be open minded to be more open to change and cope with people's differences. If we are different from others, we should not be conscious of ourselves, instead, be confident. If we deal with the differences of people, we just have to communicate with them effectively. Our communication skills will help us deal with them and bridge our differences. We don't have to be like them.

Posted by: Communication Skills at December 28, 2007 2:11 PM