Only dead fish swim with the stream

Liz Stephens, Columnist

We all have weird habits, and one of mine is that I write down inspirational quotes for myself everyday.

I developed this habit after watching a Netflix series called “Being Mary Jane,” which is about a news anchor and her daily life. In the show about the life of Mary Jane Paul, it shows her covering her headboard, mirrors and even a wall in her bedroom with yellow sticky notes with quotes written on them.

I adopted this habit because I think it pushes people to think outside of the box about what the quotes mean and how to grow from the quotes everyday.

A quote from this week that has been resonating with me is from Malcolm Muggeridge, he once said, “Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”

When I was young I was always taught to not conform to what everybody else is doing in life.

Life is no fun without being able to cut loose and have fun without caring how somebody looks at you, or how people will perceive you.

Some people struggle with not conforming to societies norms because everybody simply wants to fit in somehow and somewhere. Some people would rather be a dead fish swimming with the stream, than be happy and looked at a little funny for marching to the beat of their own drum.

I have never understood the want to be a follower.

Who would want to be remembered as someone who always followed the crowd and never had the guts to stand out?

I’ve realized that not conforming and wanting to embrace individuality pisses people off and can make people uncomfortable. Some people wish they could embrace their individuality and can’t due to fear of not fitting in, so they get mad, or jealous, of those who are able to.

My generation is told to live our lives to the fullest, yet we are ridiculed when we do, so I do not see a point in trying to meet unrealistic expectations from others.

It bothers me watching my classmates run themselves into the ground just to get approval from a professor or classmates.

I understand the want to be favored by a professor, but fail to comprehend why students would push themselves to the point of being miserable just to simply be liked or treated decently.

We are surrounded by unspoken rules in society. People are “supposed” to go to college, get married, buy a house and have kids. People are “supposed” to be good at everything and are told that “average” is failure.

The universe would never progress or change like it has if people don’t continue to challenge the norms that society sets for us.

Worrying about pleasing people and following social norms is how students wake up having the college version of a mid-life crisis.

Students wake up worrying if they will fit the stereotypical timeline society sets for us to follow, and question what success really is and what it means.

College is not only about finding yourself, but questioning why we think what we do and even simple things such as why we like what we do.

On a campus full of dead fish too afraid to be true to themselves, find the path that leads you to finding your P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way.

Liz Stephens is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2112 or [email protected]