Graham Moore, in my opinion gave one of the most genuine and meaningful speeches the other day when he received his award for the Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game. <— There it is.

And it got me thinking about being different. Actually it got me thinking about people making assumptions that others aren’t different. I am a collegiate basketball player and public relations major. That isn’t bragging, I’m just stating facts. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has told me, “You know I thought because you played on the basketball team that you were going to be really stuck up or an asshole, but you aren’t at all.” Thanks… but not really. 

I find myself not wanting to fit into the “all star basketball player” role because of the reputation that comes with it. In case you don’t know the reputation, I’ll remind you i is the egotistical asshole that uses their status to get what they want.

(Your words NOT mine)

I feel as though the same people who rant about being judged for their clothes are the same people judging me because I play on a collegiate team. Let me enlighten you. The picture you see of your friend dunking or hitting a shot on the front page of the school newspaper, doesn’t explain the entirety of the person. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a thousand words isn’t enough in this case.

I am just like any other senior at SUNY Plattsburgh. I am still trying to find a job in my field while balancing five classes, community service, graduate school applications, a social life and anything else I dive into. I still have insecurities about certain things even though they may not be the same as yours. I am a 5’7 160 pound basketball player in a world that tells me if you aren’t over 6 foot with tattoos and big muscles, you aren’t a man. So yeah, I still deal with societal pressures just like everyone else.

If I assumed that graphic design majors are weird kids sitting behind their computers and members of greek organizations only drink and hang with their brothers/sisters, I would have missed out on some of the best friends I have ever made.

Don’t make the mistake of shutting people out because they are apart of a team or part of a group that you find to be out of the norm. If you only stick with the things you have always known, you will always be the same person.