The real you

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I read somewhere once you have a reputation, it doesn’t  require much maintenance.

I admit I read it in the second  “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” book, but details. Roderick was giving Greg some brotherly advice and told Greg he did not need to do bad stuff often because he already had a reputation of being a bad kid. Therefore, people simply assumed he was always up to no good.

At the time, this sounded like the most brainless advice Roderick ever gave Greg, however, as I think about it at this point in my life, I realize  it’s true.

During high school, I met people from multiple walks of life. I would be lying if I said I was not aware of their reputations before I met them.

That being said, nine times out of ten, I was shocked that my fellow students were different than I had heard and previously expected.

For instance, there was a girl who went to my high school and everyone said she was mean, stuck up and promiscuous. Never actually talking with her personally, I simply took everyone’s word for it. My senior year of high school I had the opportunity to get to know this girl. It turned out people thought she was mean and stuck up because she was shy and quiet. Ironically, she had been in a steady relationship with her boyfriend for four years.

It was only slightly humiliating.

I think about the concept of college: leaving home, leaving friends and starting completely over.

In my case, I am moving three and a half hours away from home and I’m not going to the same school as a single person I went to high school with. I am no longer with the same people I have been with since grammar school, and I have every opportunity to start over.

I lived in the same small town for my entire life. A small town adds an extra struggle to changing how a community views you.

To compensate for lack of attractions, small town communities can make discussing residents its pastime preference.

According to “The American Freshman: Forty-Year Trends” by John H. Pryor, “These trends data now constitute a national treasure, documenting the changing nature of students’ characteristics, aspirations, values, attitudes, expectations, and behaviors” once they transition from high school to college.

I do not think this has as much to do with the students themselves, as it has to do with the people they are surrounded with. It is very easy to let people assume whatever they want about you.

It takes more effort to show people who you really are.

College presents a unique opportunity to meet people who have no former knowledge of who you are and therefore you are given a chance to introduce yourself as you are.

College: a seven-letter word for opportunity—make the most of it.

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