Illustration by  Vivian Chambers

Illustration by Vivian Chambers

Cue COPYCAT by Billie Eilish 

In my first year of highschool I made two new friends: *Dina and *Julissa. As soon as we met we all became best friends instantly. We had sleepovers every single weekend and were always seen together laughing at school, we were inseparable! Our friendship was contingent on watching our favourite movies together, listening to Khalid, gossiping, and staying out really late on the weekends. Our friendship was tied together by endless secrets and crazy adventures. A few months into our friendship I noticed that Dina started to pick out the same style of clothes that I dressed in during our trips to the mall. I was flattered that Dina liked my style, so I was delighted when she started to dress like me. After a little while our shopping trips started to get really frustrating, every single piece of clothing I would get Dina would get as well. Then at school she stopped dressing like herself and started to dress like a mix between Julissa and I. I started to feel as if my sense of personal identity was being threatened. Then one day at school while I was trying very hard to avoid Dina, Julissa came up to me and confided “Dina is copying everything about me and it’s really annoying, I cannot handle it anymore.” Julissa confiding in me made the situation all the more real and I felt a surge of gratefulness that I wasn’t feeling the same thing alone. Julissa and I gave Dina many hints that we needed space from her. Things started to get out of control, instead of taking the many hints we gave her of needing time and space, she did the exact opposite and clinged onto us even harder. It got to a point where Julissa and I were hiding in the bushes to eat lunch because that’s the only place she would not find us! Dina was not acting like the girl I met in the beginning of the school year. Dina would instantly agree on anything I said without the blink of an eye. She grasped onto every single world I said and she remembered everything I told her. When Julissa and I were talking about things and we had different opinions she would not know which opinion to take as her own, so she would settle for somewhere in between the middle of both our opinions. At school I would not even be able to have a conversation with my other friends without her barging in on them. She would try and make herself the center of attention in every social situation. When I would hangout with my other friends outside of school the next day she would know exactly who I was with, where we went, and what we did. Then she would try and manipulate me into feeling guilty for not inviting her. I hated the feeling of someone trying to emulate my entire existence. The next week consisted of me blasting the song Copycat by Billie in my room and belting it out to release all of my anger. Then one day I snapped when I saw her holding the same book I was currently reading. I could not stand another second of her psychotic tendencies to take my personality for herself. For the rest of the school year I stopped being friends with Dina. I felt really guilty for not being friends with her anymore because my friend group were the only friends she had but I had to put my mental health first. Thinking back to our friendship I feel like I never really knew who the real Dina was behind the mask she put on, I just know that she is really insecure. By trying to be exactly like me she was trying to copy my self esteem that she does not have. Dina and I talk sporadically at school and she tells me about her new life. Everytime we talk she repeatedly tells me how she has changed SO much and I couldn’t agree more! She has taken over a new identity that matches her new friends. I wish for Dina that one day she will be happy just being Dina. Behind her insecurities I see a happy girl who has a huge heart. Being a teenager is an important time to find out who you are and where you belong. It’s important not to lose yourself in the process, and remember the very simple concept of being yourself.

*Names have been changed.

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