This I Believe

Lukas - Petoskey, Michigan
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“This I Believe”

If I have learned nothing else being a teenager it’s this, the way one dresses does not define who they are. Who one hangs out with does not define who they are. Only, ones actions and treatment towards others to me is how you are remembered later on. It is now silly to me to think something like what a person puts on tells you exactly what they are like.

I have spent most of my life trying to belong to a certain group of people. How I dress, act, and my values have all been traits from what click I have tried to become part of. Becoming, part of this click almost always involved alienating others. High school is the biggest example of this type of separation, most people do not care if you are a nice person you are classified instantly by your appearance. I won’t pretend that I was the exception to these assumptions I wore designer clothes and played sports. I had labels such as “jock” and “prep” that came from being a part of my group. I didn’t like the feeling of being only known by who I was with and how I appeared, but I was just as guilty towards others. I would give labels to others as well based only on appearance like “Goth” and “geek” not knowing the individuals; just how they looked I thought they would all act just as weird anyway.

When I first showed up to college I was in the same mind set as high school. I got to my dorm room and my roommate was one of those “Goths”. He wore nothing but black, painted his finger nails, and wore a full length leather trench coat. My first impression was he would be all about death and anarchy. He would hate me for being a football player and think I was arrogant. At first glance you would think we where total opposites and having to share this small room would be unbearable. After, giving each other the once over we got to talking and we found out a lot of things about one another. We had both had our assumptions of one another and found them completely wrong. I talked and started hanging out with people not one year ago I had laughed at and realized I had no bases for those ideas about these folks. All people have certain likes and dislikes and just because you associate with a certain group of people and dress a certain way doesn’t mean that’s all they are.

Since moving on from high school I have known those who I once wouldn’t give the time of day too to be genially good people. I have realized everyone is an individual some aren’t great to be around some are very fun to be around. Limiting yourself to a certain click keeps you from realizing what great people they are, and also keeps you from knowing who you are. Meeting others you find what traits you want to incorporate into yourself and those you don’t want. Some who appear more appealing can be terrible people others who you can’t stand to look at, after getting to know them are the nicest people in the world. I have found out that the way one appears on the outside is not a reflection of what is on the inside.