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Confidence is key

Del BeneCiao, West Linn! I’m Jacqueline Del Bene, a 15-year-old sophomore at West Linn High School. To many, I’m known as the dancer in a group. The ballerina. The fashionista. And that’s exactly who I am!

I moved from the glamorous city of New York at the age of 4 and have lived in West Linn ever since. Although I’ve lived in Oregon most of my life, I still consider myself a New Yorker. My mom and dad grew up in New York and lived there all of their lives before moving here. My dad’s growing position as a businessman led us to the West Coast, and we left our family behind in New York.

I enjoy the normal day-to-day activities of a teenager, such as listening to music, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I’ve been a competitive dancer for six years, something that takes up a good part of my free time, but hey, sometimes you have to give up certain things for something that you really love.

Fashion is another passion of mine that I hope to one day pursue as a career.

Living in West Linn has taught me many lessons, including, most importantly, what being yourself is all about.

I think we can all admit that at a certain point in time, we have either felt judged or worried about what other people thought about us. It may be because of the clothes you wear, the stores you shop at or the type of crowd you’re attracted to. My first few months at West Linn High School changed all of those feelings, the fear of being judged constantly and the people I talked to or made friends with.

This happened with one simple action, observation. I noticed how different and unique all the groups and grade levels were and, even more important, each individual person. It was as simple as seeing a student expressing a style that may not be prevalent in the atmosphere of West Linn High School and simply not really caring what other people thought.

By going to a simple place like the high school I attend, I saw that being myself is the key thing to confidence and success.

You may be wondering why exactly I’m telling you all of this. I guess it’s because in this day and age, people constantly worry about what they look like, what they have and if they fit in with everyone else. In the end, they often become a product of someone that they aspire to be.

And that’s not our true selves we were made to be. We pinpoint something as being “normal.” But really, what is the exact definition of “normal,” when the world and people around us are all so drastically different and special in their own way? It’s as if people aren’t satisfied with who they are and feel the need to be someone else.

Be true to yourself. Show people your true colors. Because at the end of the day, that’s really how we can feel confident , deep down, in our own skins.

I hope you enjoy my columns throughout this year.

A sophomore at West Linn High School, Jacqueline Del Bene is contributing a regular column to the West Linn Tidings this school year.



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