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This I Believe: That Kid

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS
Hunter Campbell - Hillsboro HS

Everyone is unique in his or her own way, and more often than not they try to hide their distinctive qualities because of the fear that they will be viewed as weird or even as a pariah. Yet I have never found a reason to fear the opinions of others, or a circumstance not to be myself. 

I believe the most important factor of being comfortable in any situation is accepting your own individual characteristics.

As far back as I remember I have always been "that kid." Beginning in pre-K my own personal uniqueness started to materialize. I was a child that was very reliant on my mother. As soon as I saw her leave the classroom, I would begin sobbing. So in order to prevent this from happening they gave me an option. One day of the week I was allowed to go to school dressed as a police officer, as long as I would let my mom leave without throwing a tantrum. The dressing up doesn't stop there, I would even go as far as dressing as Spider-man at my brothers' football games where I would fight crime alone behind the bleachers. It didn't bother me what others thought about it, I was just happy to be comfortable. Somehow being comfortable for me was sticking out from the rest. But I quickly grew out of the superhero stage, and entered what I like to call the James Bond phase. Starting in first grade I refused to go in public wearing anything other than a suit and tie. At the movie theater the manager enjoyed my suit so much he invited me to go into the back room and see the movie projector in action. At school I would bring a booklet filled with suits to look at during recess in anticipation for my next public appearance. Eventually, I did grow out of dressing up in public all together, but I immediately found other ways to stick out.

To this day most people might still consider me a person that "marches to his own beat." I have never been into sports like most of my friends — instead I devoted much of my time to my own interests. I can solve well over 10 different types of Rubik's Cubes, I taught myself to ride a unicycle and juggle, at the same time. I can back tuck on flat ground and even play a few different songs on the piano. Perhaps the most normal thing I do as a teenager is attempt origami and skateboard — or maybe not. Throughout my whole life I have been "that kid" and I couldn't be more proud.

To me it is so important to embrace individuality at every instance possible and to never conform because of fear or anxiety. The best way to be comfortable is to be yourself. Dr. Seuss expressed it best, "There is no one alive who is youer than you" so be proud! This I believe.

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