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The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf


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Kayla Vo
Kayla Vo
Co-Copy Editor

Originality does not exist

Photo by Olivia Beauchemin

In a generation increasingly influenced by social media and the constant flow of information, the entire concept of originality and uniqueness has been lost in translation. As humans, we subconsciously accept and embrace the influence we receive into our lives. 

We’ve all heard the often-repeated mantra, “be your own person.” What does that really mean? As individuals, we are a living representation of everyone we have interacted with and everyone that is in our lives. Our original self is a combination of thousands of conversations and experiences. 

One of the most beautiful aspects of the human experience is our ability to interpret and reinterpret the world we live in. Our thoughts and inventions are inspired by wisdom and humanity, which allows for the creation of something greater than its separate parts. We are so hyperfocused on originality that the creative details are being questioned as well.

Originality and creativity have been redefined countless times from generations to generations. Referring back to the 1800s, many well-known artists and painters created their most famous paintings seemingly based on hundreds of other pieces. 

“Good artists borrow; great artists steal.” 

This quote, attributed to Pablo Picasso, was in fact not only said by him, but by Steve Jobs and countless others. Creating a distinctive version based off of your unique mind truly exemplifies the idea of acknowledging and appreciating any work.

Gen-Z is known to be the most creative generation, which is wholly ironic, as we are currently in an era when fashion is being recycled from the ’80s, ‘90s and 2000s. Especially with our present-day social media and the rise of TikTok influencers, people are so easily influenced into wanting to fit into microtrends and fast fashion clothing. It’s the addicting crave for trends that set us back from the chase for individuality we all strive for.

We as a society have put such a harsh emphasis on originality that we lose ourselves in search of finding just that. You aren’t yourself without the people surrounding you. There are almost eight billion people on this planet, and yet you will never meet one that is exactly like you. The odds that you are the only individual to ever think of a single specific thought are exactly zero. Rather than viewing our shared conceptual similarities as an adversity, it’s important to recognize that this forms and builds us together as a unified community. Everything we know is derivative, just like how musical artists take inspiration from other songs and they end up performing better than the ‘original’ creator, like how there is always a familiar feeling and beat in every song we enjoy.

The societal pressure to create something entirely unique often hurts the potential of masterpieces, as individuals hold back their actions and creations, fearing redundancy. Every idea has tens of millions of iterations and perspectives; it just goes to show that it is rare that a thought or action someone has nowadays is original. 

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Kayla Vo
Kayla Vo, Co-Copy Editor
Hi, I'm Kayla! I am a sophomore and it's my first year on staff. Joining newspaper was something I knew I wanted because of its community to allow me as a writer to learn and grow. I'm excited to be a part of The Wolf with all of these amazing people.

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