This I Believe

Jessi - Powell, Tennessee
Entered on May 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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You May Think You Know, But You Have No Idea

If you have ever been in high school, you know how cliquey teenagers can be. There will always be the popular kids, the nerds, the Goths, the church-goers, the poor, the jocks, and so on. Each group sticks together and rarely associates with another group.

In high school, I was considered a goody-goody who was in all the “smart classes”, went to church, and never partied on the weekends. My friends always told me, “I thought you were a snob when I first met you.” Of course, after they got to know me, they knew this was not true at all.

In my high school we had a group of people that were labeled as the “dirties”. These students were usually from a lower income family, the first girls to get pregnant and drop out of school, and the ones who mocked the preps. I had friends from every clique, including the “dirties”. One girl, Brandy, was the exception.

Brandy and I were on completely opposite ends of the spectrum in many ways. She was a fighter, I was extremely passive. By our senior year, she had been pregnant twice; I was the virgin that everyone made fun of. Brandy’s family could not afford to buy her a car or a prom dress, I was fortunate enough to have both. Brandy was not afraid to tell people what was on her mind; I was quiet and kept to myself most of the time. During our senior year, a mutual friend invited us both to her house for a sleepover. To me, the idea did not seem like a good one, but I went anyways.

We talked about school, guys, and other girls — the usual gossip. Soon we realized we had more in common than we had thought. The three of us starting spending most of our time together, especially after we all graduated early. Through talking to Brandy, I learned that her parents were divorced, just like mine. We had the same opinions on various topics. We enjoyed a lot of the same activities as well.

A couple of months later, Brandy and I laughed about the fact that we had previously hated each other. She asked what I had thought about her before we were friends. I replied, “I thought you were really mean and we would never get along.” She commented back, “I thought you were a snob.” So there it was once again, I was a “snob”. Then she added, “Now I know you are not a snob!” I knew then that everything I had assumed about her, and that she had assumed about me was wrong.

My friendship with Brandy taught me that no matter how different someone may seem from me, we probably have more in common than meets the eye. Now, I try to never assume anything about someone until I get to know them. I believe, you should never “judge a book by its cover.”