An unoriginal title about originality

Allysha - Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Entered on February 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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When my teacher asked me to write a “This I Believe” essay I thought it would be a synch. I already view myself as a person with strong beliefs. But what were they exactly? I felt lost. Sure I believed in friendship, kindness, and youth but they were too cliché. With a bad case of writer’s block, I asked my teacher to go to the bathroom. As I slowly walked there, I realized that I wanted to believe in something exciting and worthwhile. I remembered my friends’ beliefs, which harshly put were lame, except for the one about handshakes. But suddenly, sitting on the toilet at 1:36 PM, it hit me. I believed in being original.

To me originality is not just saying it but being it. It means being diverse; doing different things that no one could possibly copy. At my high school, where many kids fight to blend in, I choose to stick out. Throughout the school year there is one specific time that I seem to separate myself from the rest of my classmates – spirit week. On this particular week, in the fall, students dress up to show support for their high school, or in my case, just to have a little fun and be different. Tuesday thru Friday consists of dressing for mix-match, pajama, costume, and blue and white day. It just so happens that costume day is my forte.

As a sophomore, I can remember racking my brain, trying to think of a costume that would knock people of there feet. While watching a Barbie commercial, though I used to rip their heads off, I realized what a great costume that would be. I recruited my mom for help and we went to work, relentlessly for days, working on this project. The outcome was more than I imagined. There I was on costume day, waddling into school in a huge, pink box, dressed as Soccer Barbie. I had a picture of my real soccer coach inside as well as, a net, cones, a whistle and shin guards. But you know it would not have been complete without a rocking pink soccer outfit. With this costume I had people amazed and even managed to make Homecoming Court! It wasn’t until this year that I took my ideas to the extreme. Walking into school, I received quick glares from the boys and mostly laughs from the girls. I say mostly, because there was the few that turned there noses up at me in disgust. I was a tampon box. My mother and I thought it was the funniest idea known to man or woman, in this case. Yet, my school was not so sure about that. I was almost forced to take it off; but after fighting with administration, they wearily let me keep it on. The second I left the principal’s office, I was the proudest tampon box ever, despite the dirty looks. My originality was unmatched!

I now pass my costumes on to my younger sister. My mom adjusts them to her size and she goes out trick-or-treating. Though she did not use my tampon box costume, for obvious reasons, she managed to be just as creative, dressing as a vending machine. It is a great feeling to see my sister, at only ten years old, following in my footsteps. Unlucky for her, she has a costume reputation to uphold come four years from now.

Until today I’ve never know myself to be an original; maybe I’m not. Maybe it’s just the thought of being original that I’m in love with. Either way, I hope to get a tattoo on my foot that reads my name one way and “original” the other, as a constant reminder of what I hope to be.