I Will Never Apologize For Being Different, And Neither Should You

I Will Never Apologize For Being Different, And Neither Should You

I am who I am, deal with it!
1048
views

I am DONE.

As I approach the end of my sophomore year of college, I find myself reflecting more and more on my past 20 years. And what I've found is this... people are horrendous. Yeah, I said it, and this isn't coming from some cynical college student who's mad because the barista at Coffee Hound got his order wrong. This is coming from someone who has seen the best... and often the worst of people's potential.

As someone who is attending a university, I wish I could say that my peers are evolved and are spending their time with their faces in their books and only using their phones to call their parents to tell them how much they love them, but that would be a lie. Now I'm far from a saint, but the truth of the matter is that I've seen too many people shove red solo cups in their faces and using their phones to talk shit about other people because they suddenly get a wave of bravery when they're behind a keyboard.

I have a stutter - it is a topic I've written about before and anyone who knows me will tell you that it is something that has impacted my life, both in a positive and negative way. When I was younger, I was bullied horrendously over it. Talking to girls was a lost cause for me, and there were very few teachers who would even call on me to answer a question in class. In college, I was really hoping that I would finally catch a break from this.

This was, of course, a naive thought. I've grown accustomed to the jokes people make, but there is a line that I draw, and someone happened to cross it. I had to give a speech for one of my classes, which is basically my worst nightmare come true. But I got up there, and I felt like I did well for myself. I scored a 95% on my speech, which by any standard is a good job. As I was going through my peer evaluations, I noticed that one of my classmates gave me a drastically lower score than everyone else did.

As I read through the barely literate comments, one thing stood out to me. He said, and I quote, that stutter "was distracting and unprofessional."

There are so many things I want to say to this person, however, no combination of curse words exists to describe how I feel. First of all, I am DONE apologizing for something I can't control. I can do all the breathing exercises I want, but there will always be times where it will just happen!

Second, you have no idea of what professionalism is if you had the audacity to write a comment like that. Try to live a life where you don't know what the next word is going to sound like coming out of your mouth, and then come talk to me about my "professionalism" when I'm addressing 45 people in a classroom.

Third, you can hide behind your peer evaluation, but you also get to live with the knowledge that "the kid with the stutter" debated circles around you when you tried to call me out in front of the whole class.

This article is not a manifesto on why we should reject society and become hermits, this is a statement. My name is Dimitri Sotos, I have a stutter, I have anxiety, I don't have washboard abs. What I do have is my pride, I have amazing friends and fraternity brothers who love and support me, and I have a family that is proud of me. I don't need to waste my time caring about the opinions of debate judges and teachers who told me that I need to "learn how to speak correctly", or the opinions of people who I wouldn't give the time of day to.

We are both young men, but there is a major difference between us. You condemn things that make people different, I celebrate it.

I am who I am, deal with it!

Cover Image Credit: Dimitri Sotos

Popular Right Now

14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

106322
views

What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Being A Nanny Is The Best College Job, You Can @ Me On This

I strongly suggest joining the field ASAP.

107
views

I have been babysitting since I was in ninth grade. In my opinion, it is the best possible job for a student, and should by all means be taken advantage of by our young adult generation. Being a babysitter teaches patience, responsibility, and how to deal with the weirdest situations ever (kids do some wacky things). Here are what I think are the main selling points of nannying a couple kids during your time as a student:

1. GOOD Pay

At this point, none of us have college degrees. This immediately means that we are going to make much less because the jobs we have available to us are unskilled and pretty basic. However, with ~babysitting~ parents will pay a whole lot to get one night out on the town away from their little bundles of joy. They will pay extra well if it's a weekend night, if they found you last minute, or if they know that their children are especially...exciting.

2. It is literally just hanging out with a kid or two

For the most part, kids just want to have fun. So, a lot of babysitting is just keeping the kids occupied and making sure they are having fun. Sometimes, you can even have fun, too!! Kids love water balloon fights, coloring, and watching movies. I am not opposed to any of these activities. I am especially not opposed to these activities when I am getting paid cold hard cash to do them. This brings me to my next point.

3. Most innocent form of tax evasion

Unless if you are a regular nanny, and the parents are very morally upright, responsible Americans, you will never pay a dime of taxes on your babysitting. Most of your little weekend and small jobs are here and there and not super consistent. Parents typically pay with cash, check, or Venmo. AKA, you can easily make a living off the double-digit per hour pay, and you don't pay taxes. Sneaky. I'm not sure if this is consitutional, but is anyone ever really going to come after the teenage babysitters?

4. (Usually) free food

Another killer perk of being a babysitter is the snacks. At almost every house I've ever sat at, as the parents are running out the door they flippantly shout behind them, "Help yourself to whatever's in the fridge!" I am a broke, hungry college student that has not gone grocery shopping since it was warm outside. Don't mind if I do. (disclaimer: don't go too crazy. Proper etiquette is important: don't eat the last of anything in the fridge, don't open anything that is brand new, and NEVER eat the chocolate the mom has hidden on the top shelf of the pantry.)

5. Downtime

Most of the time parents hire you for two reasons: to make sure that their kids stay alive (if they're little) or to make sure that their kid doesn't burn the house to the ground (if they're old enough to take care of themselves, but not quite old enough to be trusted). For younger ones, either due to a nap or an early bedtime, the kids will be asleep at some point during your hang with them. That means time for you to cozy up on the parents' comfy couch and do some homework or watch a movie (on the quietest volume of course).

If the kids are old enough to be awake for your whole stay, they still will probably not want to spend every single second with you, they'll want to do their own thing, maybe reading a book by themselves or playing a video game at some point. Regardless, you're going to have some chill time where your job is just to periodically make sure that the kids aren't getting themselves into trouble.

6. Kids are hilarious

Kids are the greatest comedians. They are totally unaware of this, but they're absolutely hilarious. They are so small and have no idea what is going on half of the time. It is so fun just hanging out with them and witnessing the stories they tell, things they get excited about, and little misunderstandings.

One of my favorite stories was with an adorable little four-year-old boy. I was explaining to him that I no longer live with my parents because I am in college. I now realize that this is an earth-shattering notion, as he had never considered the fact that he wouldn't live with his parents forever. He had tons of questions about my living situation and finally ventured into the subject of college, so I told him that college is just a fancy word for school. He immediately turned away from me and stared into the distance with the most sorrowful face I've ever seen on a four-year-old. "My mommy and daddy are sending me to school next year." It took me a couple of minutes to explain that there is a huge difference between my parentless lonely school and the kindergarten school he would be going to soon, that he still had a great deal of time with his parents before they would be sending him out on his own. I did my best to convey this to him, but I'm pretty sure the damage was already done. Poor guy will never be the same.

7. Forming relationships with kids

Spending all of this time hanging out with kids, teaching them about the weird world we share, and watching them grow up is so meaningful. You create bonds with them and can't wait to see all of the cool things they do with their little lives.

Related Content

Facebook Comments