This I Believe

Laura - Austin, Texas
Entered on November 27, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Why shouldn’t we love what we are doing, not what we think or wish we could do? I believe that classmates should not be classmates, but individuals knowing who we are; striving and searching where we want to go. We should overcome our mistakes; which we all make too often, and be comfortable with who we are, despite others opinions.

I have learned “no shame” from my friends. Nick, a Twenty-four year old band reporter who works at the Whole Foods on Union Square, has taught me that there are no boundaries to how many times you can nudge someone on the arm and say ‘bumpin’, or do a little “knee dance” on the ground, even in front of Gwyneth Paltrow. Taka, a Japanese photographer and reggae dance hall DJ, has pushed me to be more inventive and creative, even on a small scale; like taking professional pictures for prestigious galleries with lighting as hack as a ripped-up-cardboard-wrapped 100 watt light; or making the perfect bunny ears out of tin foil.

When I was faced with going back to High School after living independently at the age of sixteen, traveling to over eight countries, and meeting designers, artists, photographers, and entrepreneurs, I was petrified. Learning, my sole passion, was to be curbed into the confines of classes, instead of the “real life” cultural experience I had assimilated as the ultimate learning experience. I soon forgot shame; and found that everything I have learned in my professional experiences has been extremely helpful in the class, and my experiences in the class will greatly increase my understanding of cultures and ideas.

I believe a student should be unique, diverse, and open-minded; one who has worked extremely hard to be where they are, as I had while living off a budget of twenty-five pounds a week in London. I want to be pushed out of my box by people like Nick and Taka who are far from normal, but accept everyone for who they are with not the slightest bit of pretentiousness. I want to be made uncomfortable by the uncompromising expectations of my friends and fellow students. I want strong positive help when everything seems too overwhelming and be able to provide the same help to others, as Larissa, a Swedish friend and model I met in London, and I have done by encouraging each other continuously while running all over London-up and down thousands of subway stairs to castings everyday. Most of all, I believe we should love what we are learning from class and even more so from our colleagues.

People I remember and pause to learn from and about, have become lifelong friends and my standards of uniqueness and diversity for my classmates will be the same as they have for others. I am not searching for a geek, a funny guy, or a weirdo-but for a person with an aura of originality. I am Laura Selfridge and this I believe.