Sometimes Being The Odd Man Out Isn't A Bad Thing

Here's To Those Who Strive For Difference

It can be hard to break some molds, but there's never been a better time than now to start.

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Difference. It's the single most divisive concept in our society. Being "different" is labeled a bad thing all too often.

But it isn't.

The difference is one of the most treasured concepts as well. If we all followed in the same footsteps, the same molds, it would be all too easy to lose sight of the fact that we aren't all the same — not even close.

I've made myself into a poster child for being different over the past few years, and it has been the best thing that I've ever done. Like many of you, I grew up in a situation where being different was looked down upon. I spent many years through middle and into high school trying to check all the boxes of the things I thought I was missing to be "normal." I changed the way I dressed (anyone who knew me in middle school, OUCH!), the way I acted, and the way that I looked at my time at school. I was never the best student or athletic type. I never played football like most of my friends, and only played rec-league basketball to humor my parents.

Compared to most of the guys I grew up with, I was an outcast. I was different. I couldn't relate to anything about them. And I hated that. I wanted to be like the "cool kids" who always had fun and were never spending Friday nights at home with my family. I tried so hard to break change who I was that I completely forgot it.

My time in college (or rather, college-aged) has been a roller coaster ride. I began my collegiate life at another university and fell into a deep mental hole trying, once again, to make myself into someone and something that I just wasn't. I loved the classes in my major, but everything else just became a slip-n-slide downhill. I lost sight of being different there, and it hurt badly.

It took a culture shock for me to realize just how important being different is. I spent most of my life simply trying to make myself into something I wasn't. I never truly developed a sense of self-identity because I was too busy trying to imitate someone else's. When I left my first school, I threw myself headlong into a totally new environment — the working world. I'm the youngest one in the office, the least senior in my position, but compared to a year ago, I'm in such a better place. I took the various images I wanted to see myself in and threw them away.

I've set myself up on a new path, very much a different one, but that's OK.

Be different. Try new things, don't be satisfied with the status quo. One of the great things about being in college is the freedom to break all the molds you want. Meet new people, try new things, find something that makes you happy, and run with it. Don't ever try to be who you're not — because who you are is awesome, just the way you are.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Dear...

#4

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Dear teacher that I used to love,

I used to love going to your classes in elementary school.

I used to love the after school activities that you would have.

I used to love coming over spending the night (since I became friends with your daughter).

I loved all the new things everyone introduced me to.

I loved how you would let me stay for a week because the snow wouldn't stop.

But somehow that all began to change...due to one little incident.

It was a misunderstanding, but how it was dealt with at the beginning was not right.

Calling out a high schooler when your the adult also is not the right way

Calling them out on social media is never the right way to deal with things, no matter the situation.

It hurt me that you felt that way about me, and the things that were said on that post hurt.

So when you apologized to me one day about it, and then asking me to come and join an activity like nothing ever happened.

At that time I couldn't forgive because I was still hurt and angry by everything that happened.

From that post it told me how you felt about me, over something that was miscommunicated. But because we had slightly different views on things that worsened things in my opinion.

Sure did I comment on somethings saying my opinion on things? Yes. But it was just to bring in information that most people didn't fully understand, not to bring you down.

Now today if I see you in public sometimes we say hi, but not so much anymore.

I see on social media that you comment on other students accomplishments in school or in life.

But whenever I post something about my life, or an article I get nothing. And honestly, it hurts a lot.

I would think I would at least get a like, but honestly I feel that anything I post doesn't even get looked at.

I have moved passed that post. The hurt is still there though.

Sincerely,

Your former elementary school student

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