I've learned that it's okay to be different. It's okay to not blend in. I'm that person you can pick out of a crowd whether it's because I'm the loudest person in the room or because I've barely grown my hair back.
The most probable reason why I and so many other kids get excluded is because we are or choose to be different than everybody else. We don't conform, we stand out. We don't always say what people want to hear but instead we give our own opinion.
Imagine, who you could be if you let down the walls. I know too many people who believe they are stuck and cannot leave their prisons. The biggest prisons we have today are not institutions... they are ourselves.
I avoided cameras like the plague, always volunteering to take the picture, or leaning out of frame when I saw I was in one. Now when I look through the photos of my senior year, it's like I wasn't even there.
Two special guys are in my life: my dogs, Festus and Cyrus. Festus is a three-legged pit bull/Rottweiler. Cyrus is a tiny terrier born without front legs. These dogs are my greatest teachers. Here are some of the simple lessons that I have learned from them.
High school is not a real representation of the world outside. Those who are ostracized for being unique or different (for whatever reason) are often the people that go on to have interesting and fulfilling lives.