Why It's Time To Embrace Your Inner 'Weirdo'

Why It's Time To Embrace Your Inner 'Weirdo'

Reflections from a Middle School Eccentric
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I cannot recall a time in my life where I could be considered "normal." When I was in elementary school, my hobbies included locking myself in my room to read for hours on end, writing really descriptive diary entries, and being painfully bad at tag.

Really quite descriptive:

Instead of doing normal little kid things like playing dress-up or “house,” my friends and I formed a club called “the Piggy Pals” in which we gave ourselves animal personas and wrote really elaborate stories about the characters.

True story.

While my siblings learned to excel at various sports—my sister in dance and field hockey and my brother at basically everything else—I was struggling to finish my gym class’ mandatory mile in under 12 minutes. Instead, I was the champion of the classroom: I had stellar grades, I loved writing—I once wrote an entire book series about a dog detective named Sherlock Bones—and my favorite TV channels included Animal Planet and the History Channel.

Bottom line? I was not a normal child.

My…eccentricity…was of no importance in elementary school: no one really cared what you looked like or who your friends were or whether you wore Aéropostale polos to school.

Flash forward to middle school, and…well…those things mattered to most preteens. To set the stage, let me introduce my 12-year-old self: I wore blue wire-rimmed glasses several sizes too small for my face, I had the same haircut as Lord Farquaad from Shrek, and I had developed an affinity for playing the flute.

For context:

It is no surprise that I struggled to make new friends. Kids were nasty. I vividly remember getting teased relentlessly for countless reasons: my weight, my style (or lack thereof), my hobbies—anything that made me different from the carbon-copied, Hollister-wearing army of tweens that occupied my middle school.

It bothered me for a while, but I was lucky: I had a tight-knit group of friends that were just as ‘weird’ as I was. Eventually, I learned to ignore the snide remarks and thinly veiled insults and just be myself. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many kids. Oftentimes, the teasing alone is enough to push kids to abandon their uniqueness.

I think that’s incredibly sad.

Looking back, my childhood ‘weirdness’ is a huge part of who I am now. My love for reading, writing, and learning is what molded me into the excellent student I am now. My lack of interest in anything style or sports-related translated into me developing a kick-ass sense of humor (if I do say so myself). I am still friends with many of the same girls I’ve been friends with since elementary school; they make me genuinely happy.

Why is this relevant, you may ask?

I think it’s important for people at any age to remember their roots and do the things they truly love. Would 12-year-old you be happy with who you are now? Are there things you enjoy or pieces of yourself you’ve learned to ignore because you’re afraid that other people won’t think they’re "normal?"

I think it’s time to embrace the weirdness. Life is a lot more fun that way.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Killian

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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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Making The Most Out Of A Short Summer

Choose happiness.

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If you're like me, you only have 1-2 weeks max before your summer gets extremely busy with other things. Whether it be internships, classes, fellowships, work, volunteering, or anything else, you've lost most of your free time. I am extremely grateful to have an internship this summer, but that means I have only one week to fit everything into my summer. And so of course, I'm making the most out of it.

But how do you do this? I could be slouching on the couch, sad about how little I'll see my family and friends, but instead, I am up every morning (yes, 11 A.M. is still technically morning for some of us), shower, and then start my day of activities. Sleep is important to me, so sleeping in the first couple of days to refresh helps prepare me for the rest of the summer. Then, I call my mom and ask if she needs anything done. If you're going to be home, keeping your family happy is key. Then, I go and see all of the important people in my life who are home. For me, this means spending the day with family, but for others, it could be friends, significant others, etc. I also make sure to sneak in my favorite local restaurants into the dinner mix for the week. So if I'm going to be away again, at least my favorite foods were eaten first. Or I ask my mom to make some of my favorite dishes that week. I also make sure to do all of the regular summer activities I would usually spread out. Shopping, grilling, going out for drinks, that kind of stuff. One activity a day to hold me over. At night, I binge watch all of the Netflix shows I've been saving up so I won't be distracted later. For you, this time might be spent reading a book or working on a project you've been wanting to do. And each day, do it over again for 7 days.

Being home for a short amount of time does not have to put a damper on your summer plans. As long as you plan and organize everything you love accordingly, you can fit it into your time frame and still have an amazing summer break. Even if it's just for a week or two.

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