imageBy Sam Rosacrans

(Photo taken from one of my last concerts – Rammstein, one of the highlights of last Summer.)

As we go throughout any stage of our life, whether it be middle school, high school, work or something different, we’re often plagued by self-pressure. There’s lots of pressure to “fit in” with the people around you. A fear of judgment, perhaps. The problem with this however, is that it can stop people from doing things that they want to do. Something that’s a big part of my life, and therefore something I listen to, is music. Music is something that means many things, to many different people. Music can do anything from calm you down after long day at work, fire you up for a workout, or even both, depending upon who you are. My musical taste, is something that usually differentiates me from other people, yet it’s something I’m proud of. Throughout my limited experience in life, much like other people, I’ve had some very stressful and/or personal situations to deal with, and I turned to my music: heavy metal.

If I would’ve stayed within the confines of one thing, or genre, at least in my experience, I wouldn’t have been as happy as I am now. Don’t be afraid to try new things in order to find your passion. The music I listen to is a force behind, or has helped me with a lot of what I do. Don’t get me wrong, music is only my example of uniqueness. Everyone has a passion or something that they couldn’t live without. You should use that as your strong point, rather than abandoning it to “fit in” or be accepted. You should be who you want to be, in any aspect of your life. There’s a lot of pressure, especially during our teen years, to be someone considered “normal”, and I’ve gotten my fair share of quizzical looks relating to my band t-shirts. Acceptance by others and ourselves is one thing that we all face, but it’s something that’s made out to be harder than it should be. Often, we’re trying with the wrong people, or on principles that aren’t important to us. But regardless, we often feel as if we’re doing something wrong, or doing something that’s not the current trend, can’t lead you to success. The reality however, is that those things that separate us, can often be our most defining characteristics. No two people will share the same exact ones, and that means that it’s important to be kind and respectful to them, just as you would hope they would be to you.

When I tell people that I listen to the music that I do, many things can jump into their mind, some relating to the stigma surrounding metal music. With that being said, many people that I’ve met think I’m a bit weird for listening to what I do, but that’s who I am, and who I’m glad to be becoming. You should be who you want to be. We need to accept those who are different than us, as well as accepting ourselves for who we want to be. Just because one dresses differently, behaves differently, or in my case, listens to music that’s out of the ordinary, doesn’t mean that there’s not a great human being lying under there. Metal music isn’t the most popular, nor does it have the best reputation. I can assure you though, some of the nicest people I’ve met have been rockers; whether I find them while asking for directions at a concert, or through my freshman year chemistry class. I found a new passion, as well as some new people to share that passion with.