Pearls Of Being A Wallflower

Pearls Of Being A Wallflower

Role models come in all different shapes and sizes.

“Why don’t you go and sit there by G?” I suggest to one of my students.

“No I don’t want to, he’s weird.”

I looked over at the student he was referencing and couldn’t believe what he was saying. I looked at one of the timidest, kindest and most intelligent sixth graders with navy blue crocs and curly red hair. Every day, this student walks into the classroom and greets me with a big smile and tells me about his lack of sleep regardless of going to bed at 9 p.m. To me, he’s an ideal student. I thought to myself I would do anything to be like him when I was his age.

However, it has been eight years since I was in sixth grade.

Aeropostale t-shirts, colorful capris pants, and bobbed hair with a poof is the best way to describe my middle school appearance. At the time, I wanted to be the cool girl with the best “boyfriend” and the prettiest friends. My reputation mattered more to me than my grades, and my insecurity skyrocketed through the roof. I would’ve done anything to be the popular girl.

When I finally escaped middle school, it was never in the books for me to return. God works in mysterious ways, and now I’m back helping to teach fifth through eighth-grade intervention. Sadly, I traded in my graphic tees and dangling earrings for dress pants and blouses, but my idea of what was cool in middle school has changed significantly since working with some of the most remarkable students I’ve ever met.

Goth wasn’t cool when I was in middle school. The dark clothes, hair and makeup were too intimidating for me to comprehend. It seemed that the goth kids were always sitting alone at lunch and didn’t really want to socialize with anyone else. Now, however, I think the self-expression and honest outlook on life is beautiful and inspirational. I have met students dressed in black who have added more color to my life than I could have ever imagined. They are mysterious but observant and are proud to stand out, which is not something I would have ever been willing to do.

Cute, colorful clothes don’t make you cool; self-awareness and the desire to stand out do.

Trans wasn’t cool when I was in middle school. In fact, I don’t think I could name a single transgender person in my class at that time. I have met a student that has shown me more bravery and self-love than any other fifth grader I have ever met. It’s an honor to have been trusted with the story of self-transformation and being able to get an inside scoop on staying true to yourself and recognizing how you want to feel in your own skin.

Being the cute couple that everyone wants doesn’t make you cool; confidence in who you are and the ability to love yourself and acknowledge who you want to be does.

Nerds weren’t cool when I was in middle school. They seemed to always brag about their good grades and they always got the attention of the teachers. Now, their drive and motivation push me to do well in my own academics, regardless of the huge age gap between us. These students carrying around eight books in their backpacks and getting ahead in the class readings are going to be our future leaders.

Acting like you don’t care about school doesn’t make you cool; motivation and a drive to succeed does.

In retrospect, like many of that age, I didn't want to be like the out-of-the-ordinary kids. They were the ones I was unfamiliar with and wanted to avoid being similar to at all costs. Ironically, years later, I now view them as models for who I want to be. I’m inspired by their individuality and their bravery to stand out in a crowd. To me, they are the epitome of “cool” and should be seen as shining examples by everyone in our society.

I’d be more than happy to sit by G. I encourage everyone to open their minds and take that seat too.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

21 Realizations That Every High School Junior Has While Crying Over Their Laptop At 3 AM

Disclaimer: This is of purely satirical purposing and you must be in a second-semester junior year mindset to appreciate the humor.

Co-written by Emma Prol and Madhurya Gajula

Disclaimer: This is of purely satirical purposing and you must be in a second-semester junior year mindset to appreciate the humor.

1. How prior years of school didn't really matter

2. How close you are to college and being an actual functioning adult

3. How much work you actually have

4. How much motivation you actually don't have

5. How much work you can accomplish in the amazing period known as "lunch "

6. How to literally BS every assignment

7. How much material you can cover in one day

8. How quickly 6 p.m. turns into 2 a.m. and you still haven't started your homework that's due at 8 a..m

9. How much sleep you want

10. And how much sleep you actually need

11. What time you need to wake up in the morning to maximize sleep

12. What time down to the millisecond you need to leave your house at so you aren't late to school

13. How all your teachers are out to get you

14. How your guidance counselor doesn't seem to offer much "guidance"

15. How often you have tests

16. "We have a test today???"

17. That "free-time" is a privilege that only underclassmen enjoy

18. How important it is to be president of EVERY club

19. How much of a social life you actually don't have

20. How much work you have on supposed "breaks"

21. Knowing that graduation is in only X days, according to your tracker app

Cover Image Credit: YouTube / Studio C

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From Random Roommates To Best Friends

Memories That Will Last A Lifetime

As a high school senior I had originally planned on becoming roommates with my best friend once we went off to college. We both chose to attend West Virginia University, so we were ready to conquer the world together at the next level. Things didn't go as planned though. I ended up applying for housing in November, but she hadn't even submitted her application yet. I really wanted to live at Summit Hall, and spots were filling up quick. I ended up choosing to put myself into a random room with a stranger, and I was terrified to say the least. Thousands of thoughts filled my head. What if she is weird? What if we don't get along? What if we're nothing alike?

I searched through different social platforms to try and find her. After I found her pages I looked through her Instagram photos and realized she seemed to be just like me. We both have brown hair and blue eyes. We both cheered in high school. We were both homecoming queens. I thought to myself, "Maybe this wont be so bad, after all!" I was right. It isn't so bad after all. Turns out, we are just alike. We have a few small differences, but we're like two peas in a pod now!

Most people that meet my roommate, Hannah, and I, think that we have known one another for years. They assume we went to high school together, or at least knew each other before-hand. When we tell them that we were just randoms, their faces light up with the same funny expression every single time. I love that people think that though. It just goes to show how quickly someone you've never met, can turn into your best friend.

College is all about new experiences, and a part of that experience is making new friends. If you have the opportunity to choose a random roommate, go for it! Not only have Hannah and I become best friends, we have both gained many more friends from meeting each other. I have some friends from high school that go to school here that I have introduced her to, and vice versa. The friends that I have met through her are some of the funniest and most genuine people I have ever met. I am lucky to have met them.

At first I was genuinely surprised at the fact that choosing a random roommate paid off for me. Not everyone gets that lucky. I have heard, and now have seen, so many different horror stories about it. I never imagined throughout high school that I would've done that. I am so grateful I did though. Hannah understands my goofy, but caring personality. She also laughs at me because she knows sometimes I get hyper and talk too much.

We do almost everything together. We get our nails done, go out to eat, go to parties, and attend sporting events. We've even went home with one another on the weekends to visit our families. We have so many fun and hilarious memories together, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to live with her this year. She is one of the best friends I have ever had. God knew I needed someone like her in my life. I can't wait to make countless more memories with you. Thanks for always being crazy with me, Hannah.

Cover Image Credit: Quotefancy

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