Not a calm person but my name is Serene-a

Not a calm person but my name is Serene-a

Serena Paulson, Managing Editor

The dumb cheerleader and intellectual nerd are typical stereotypes that dictate what we know high school is like. Cheerleaders are supposed to be blonde and bubbly, up in the air, waving at the crowd. They are characterized as preppy, slutty, and relatively stupid. On the other hand, nerds are supposed to be hardcore, spending most of their weekends studying. They love reading and school, striving for perfect grades in as many upper-level classes as possible, and obviously taking part in National Honors Society. I have been both.

I’ve gone through my education in Ames slightly misplaced. I was once the cat-sweater-wearing girl with too many headbands to be normal. I did gymnastics and dance all throughout my childhood and was overly talkative. Obsessed with books, I don’t remember really having friends freshman year because all I really did was read and talk about cheerleading. I’m a typical blonde cheerleader as a flyer in front of the crowd. That stereotype has been felt in the classes that I’ve taken. I adored algebra two, and I was one of three cheer girls who took AP Bio my sophomore year.

Something you take pride in as a cheerleader is wearing the uniform to school. Walking down the hall, eyes give you the up-down, taking in the outfit with a preconceived judgement. Ames High is full of caring and open people, don’t get me wrong, but you can feel how you are treated based on your classification. When I first wore glasses to school instead of contacts, I was talked to differently by several peers, even though the only thing that changed was my eyewear. And I was received differently in cheer, for being a math geek and “try-hard”.

These socially-accepted habits of judging were not formed overnight, for any of us. Originally made at Edwards Elementary School, I have gotten to see teachers who I cherished as a kid teach the high schoolers of tomorrow, and they are who I think of when I am told to remember my roots. Back then, I wasn’t a high achieving student. Being put in a reading-help class, I went to get extra assistance. High schoolers tend to forget where we came from, as we didn’t just become students with our own opinions once we entered freshman year, or at least I didn’t. I was formed back through primary years and the hormonal awkwardness of middle school, not that I want to remember it, as it is something most of us want to forget.

It’s through these years that snap judgments we make about people now have formed, whether we want to recognize it or not. Maybe not all quick decisions about someone are wrong nor bad, but not having the ability to recognize them is. You’ve probably already judged me by this article and how blunt I’m being. Here’s a news flash: I don’t care, and you shouldn’t either. I’ve already been judged, bullied, and talked down to. I’m lucky to have had people who cared enough about me to make sure I didn’t get lost on my way to this final countdown to my graduation. If this article really changes your perspective on who I am as a person, you have no right to be judging me in the first place, as you probably don’t know me well enough to know who I really am.

We all have enough to worry about with everything we do, so don’t be a brat and try putting me, or others, into a damn box. I don’t belong there, and neither do you. Work harder next time to overlook these overused and abused stereotypes to do better, aim higher. Stay classy Ames High.