Abbi Hyder

Opinionated, dedicated, sympathetic

Sedro‐Woolley junior on popularity and changing yourself

By Matthew Hipolito

“Opinionated, dedicated, sympathetic.” That’s what upcoming Sedro‐Woolley junior Abbi Hyder described herself as in three words. “I am adventurous. I’m pretty focused. I look for excitement; I like doing new things.” Under her belt is cliff‐jumping, dirtbiking, and soon to be tucked in is skydiving. But new and exciting things ‐ and people ‐ haven’t always turned out well for Hyder.

A new group of friends influenced her in negative ways.

“I’ve always really cared a lot about what other people thought of me,” Hyder said, “and I changed myself a lot because I was concerned about that. I think I really got caught up in the wrong things.”

You should always be who you are, not change yourself for others, because

no matter what, there’s always gonna be something wrong, you know? You can’t be

completely satisfied.

Hyder’s popularity began as simply spending time with other people, hanging out with friends. But eventually, Hyder began noticing changes in herself.

“I wasn’t happy about it,” she said.

Eventually, the changes began affecting her disposition. She became more concerned with who she associated and was associated with. She began being impolite and rude to people.

Eventually, her discontent reached a head. “I wasn’t very nice to people. Just basically, a typical ‘mean girl’… A lot of opinions of me changed, and I ended up losing something that I cared about.”

But from such a nadir, she realized she needed to change, and did; though the change from a self‐described ‘mean girl’ to her now cordial disposition was “rough, because a lot of [my friends] were not really excited about that. Some of the people who might’ve influenced me to change, but they’re still my close friends.”

But Hyder’s change is not yet over. The struggle carries on; Hyder said she is still working on becoming a better person. As for the likely countless other people ‐ other teens ‐ faced with the same situation, Hyder has this advice. “You should always be who you are, not change yourself for others, because no matter what, there’s always gonna be something wrong, you know? You can’t be completely satisfied in that environment.”

If she hadn’t realized that who she had become was not who she was and changed back, she says, she “probably wouldn’t be in a good place.” Likewise, if Hyder had simply stayed who she was, she says, she’d probably “have a [much] easier life right now.”

Despite the negative connotations associated with ‘mean girl’ and an experience such as hers, Hyder said she was glad she experienced it and that she had gleaned “life skills” from the situation.

“It’s good to learn lessons. I’d rather learn my lesson than watch other people, because, in the long run, it made me less judgmental because I had never done anything wrong, so I thought I had a right to judge others for making mistakes, but now I understand better.”