The Roles We Play

Allie Coats, Art Editor

Auditions began the first day of middle school. The day is just for seventh graders, which is

good, and low key; you can handle this. You walk into the lunch room which looks bigger than your

entire elementary school. You go through the line get a cookie, score! Feeling confident because you

totally nailed all of your classes, you go to sit down and suddenly slip, and you’re lying on your back in

the middle of the cafeteria surrounded by all of your peers. Thus began a slow year-long audition.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Seventh grade? But I’ve changed so much since then.”

Turns out everyone has, but for some reason none of us see that in each other. All we see are the

awkward, too tall for our own good, not sure how to talk to the opposite sex children that we were in

seventh grade. And in some ways we are the same, we have the same high pitched laughs; we still can’t

turn in any assignment without every inch of free space being taken up by doodles.

There was a brief time between freshman and sophomore year when we fooled ourselves into

believing that we could change, that things would be different. Because we were changing schools, so

people wouldn’t look at us and think the same things that they had for the past three years. They would

see the grown up version of you, the one that you’d put so much time into despite the fact that no one

seemed to notice it yet.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. You were still that band kid, even though you stopped

playing last year. Everyone still expected you to be an amazing writer, because when you meet two and

half years ago you thought being an author would be a good time.

You keep changing and growing and pretty soon it’s your senior year. Yet you look around and

you’ve changed nothing, everyone still looks at you the same. There are a select few who managed to

change in everyone’s eyes, sure. But for the most part you all look the same.

Think of all the ways that you have changed. You grew into yourself; you developed opinions

that didn’t mirror your parents. You took an interest in things that you had never imagined you would

care about. How come no one else noticed? How come at school you still have to act like the shy little

kid from middle school? Even when you joke around with the student body president, he looks at you

like you just came in riding a unicycle juggling flaming pies. You didn’t talk in middle school so the world

must be coming to an end if you’ve found the courage to speak to others in public.

What does this mean? It means that as we look around at everyone around us we should stop

assigning them labels. We should stop trying to fit them into our predetermined boxes. We need to

expect that the people around us have changed and grown as much as us. Most likely not in the same

ways, but they’ve changed, and so have we.