Fitting Out

Zach Salas, Editorial

In today’s society, fitting in is just as important as it was five, twenty, or even one hundred years ago.  It’s human nature to try to belong to a group, and it’s why we always form communities in all aspects of our lives.

At school, work, home, and when we are out and about, we are always trying to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. This is usually a good thing, but what do you do when societal norms conflict with your own moral values?

We’d all like to believe we would stand our ground, but I’ll be the first to admit in most situations I don’t say anything. I just let the topic blow over because I don’t want to deal with the scrutiny of disagreeing. However, there is one societal norm many of my peers partake in that I refuse to be a part of.

Smoking, vaping, and drug use are activities I see a little too frequently here at Kalani and, while most of it happens off campus, I’m curious as to when it became normal.

Vaping, in particular, is rampant on and off campus and is an activity many of my peers choose to do. I’m not trying to say vaping is evil, I just wonder why they choose to do it, is it an escape, or a way to fit in?

I understand that being a teenager is hard and that there is a tremendous desire to fit in, but why does vaping seem to be so high on the list of “ways to look cool” at Kalani? Being an adolescent is tough — I’ve never met anyone who had it easy — and falling into the trap of doing anything to fit in is alluring.

It’s hard to force yourself to stand out because it’s so easy and safe to be like everyone else. Perhaps other kids don’t really see it as meaning anything; they see everyone else do it, so they go along.

Vaping and smoking are so normal that people have accused me of lying when I tell them I don’t do it. It’s concerning that their only rationale is that I must be lying, which just proves how normalized this has become in our school.

It makes me believe it’s just everyone’s way of fitting in, of belonging to something. There’s a lot of conformity in doing something you feel all your peers do.

I think people spend too much time focused on fitting in that they don’t look at what makes them different. Maybe it’s time we try fitting out instead.