I am more than just a bro

Don't read a book by it's cover

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At the beginning of December, I came up with this idea to do a thing where instead of just saying what it’s like to be “something” at New Trier, we could run articles about how people are often more than what they choose to show.

I would start the series off by talking about myself and who I am, and how I am more than just a bro.

Since then though, I’ve changed a lot. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Like a lot a lot.

I mean, I’m still a bro, but through time and through experiences, I have changed, at times becoming more than just that.
But, let’s just start with the basics.

I’ve always been kind of shy, except for when I’m totally not. I have a stutter, which doesn’t contribute to the shy part as much as it used to (in other words, I stopped stressin’). Essentially, I’m an extroverted introvert—actually, I take it back—I’m an introverted extrovert, which means that I am the most chill kind of person.

I’m six-foot-two even though both my parents are like five-foot-seven—sometimes I forget how intimidating I can be to some people. It still feels super weird being that “scary senior” because I don’t feel that way at all.

People might know me from things they’ve heard from others or from the blue and brown Patagonia I wear to school *every* day, and these things are not not me. But there is obviously more to me than what I choose to show.

When I started writing these opinions for the newspaper, I wondered whether people would be surprised at the things I wrote about, and I wondered about whether or not I would want them to be surprised. Without these articles, some people would never have known how deep or sensitive I truly am. Only the people close to me would’ve seen that side.

So, I know that for most of us there is more than what we choose to show, which makes sense. Like books, we all have covers that we decorate, through our social media, outfits, extracurriculars, etc., that attempt to give others a sneak peek into who we really are.

But, also like books, our covers often don’t spoil our entire story. These covers, although at times bland, do give others the best look possible into our lives.

In high school we each have labels that others put on us or that we put on ourselves. Because it can be scary to be “nothing,” each of us claim to be “something,” which is natural.

These labels aren’t the opposite of who we are, but a lot of the time they only tell part of our story.

The movie “Mean Girls” highlights the “cliquiness” and stereotypes of high school groups, but it does more than that too. By the end, we find out that the Asian nerds are more than just Asian nerds, and that the plastics are more than just, well, plastic.

I would’ve told you not to judge me by my cover, but then again, what else would you have had to judge me on? Book covers can be made to look however they would like, and through this, they get a certain amount of people to open them up.

So, we should just vow not to act like we’ve read a book just by reading it’s cover, even if we still judge it.

Why I brought up how much I have changed in just the past couple months is because we need to start taking people a little less seriously.

Just this year, I’ve started to hang out with people who at the beginning of the year I had labeled as something “less” than what they actually were.

It’s not that these labels were wrong or could be disputed, it’s that I took them at face value, and assumed that these labels were all that these people were. But, even if these people had been who I thought they were, they may have changed over time, just like me. I have a good feeling that I surprised some of those friends—I’m probably “more” than whoever they thought I was, too.

The cover of a book never tells the whole story, nor should it; but, when we stop taking people so seriously, we will discover that everyone, including each of us, is more than just “something”.

And so next week, and the week after that, we will run this whole thing back. Stories will be told of people who are more than just mathletes or theatre kids or jocks, and through this we will learn that most people are just like us.

But, this knowledge shouldn’t just come from the article you might choose to read each week—there are thousands of kids at this school who could end up being some of the most influential people in your life, but you just haven’t given them the chance. If you never try to know others, then no one will ever try to know you.

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