Fruit Loops in Frozen Yogurt: The Importance of Being Unique

I experienced something strange when I came to college. When people ask me where I’m from and I tell them “Buffalo,” they either 1) Act like they know a little bit about “Buffalo” as to not make me feel bad, or 2) Ask me what state it’s in. Buffalo isn’t the typical “Kenyon kid” city, and lots of people I meet have never met a Buffalonian before. I’ve realized, however, that coming from “that city near Canada” has caused  me to appreciate my uniqueness. I say my a’s funny and I’m extremely picky about my chicken wings. (They’re called “Buffalo wings” because they’re from Buffalo. They’re chicken wings if they’re not from Buffalo.) These are key aspects to my personality, as unusual as they may be. The quirks I’ve developed as a consequence of being from my home town make me who I am, and I am proud of that.

And you know what’s great? We are all unique. We all do things a little differently. We come from different places, we were raised by different people. Being unique allows us to celebrate each other’s differences and bond over our similarities. Talking to the few other students from Buffalo, or meeting other people, or finding people who love glitter or Donald Barthelme or the Women’s Studies department as much as I do can make the dullest of days brighter. I think that being different from others does wonders on how we appreciate our similaritiesif we were all the same, we probably wouldn’t be as excited when others shared our interests, backgrounds or experiences.

Along with helping people celebrate their differences and commonalities, I think that by being unique, others can learn from us, and we can learn from those around us. The same way we appreciate when interests and habits are shared, we can adopt new ones when they are introduced to us. They can be new blogs we read, art we view, movies we watch (I’ve watched a lot of “films” in college that I never would have otherwise), or little ways in which we go about our days.

Below is an image of my post-Peirce dinner frozen yogurt drowning in fruit loops (and sprinkles… and caramel… but most of all fruit loops). The first time I sat down with this concoction, my friends greeted it with a mix of bewilderment and concern, like maybe I’d just gotten confused while getting my frozen yogurt, or I’d decided to get cereal instead of dessert (highly unlikely).

Unsurprisingly, my friends started to warm up to the fact that I like to mix dessert and breakfast food. They started stealing some, one friend finishes mine when I overestimate how much more I can comfortably eat. Another friend has even started to sprinkle fruit loops over his own creamy treats. I love seeing the fruit loops flow freely, but even more so I like knowing that a quirky habit of mine introduced people to something new, even though it was just something small.

The bottom line is, we are all different. Everyone is unique, and even if we don’t see eye to eye with some people or we butt heads with others, we can learn something from everyone. The next time you feel like a black sheep or you’re surrounded by people who love what you love, remember that being unique is a gift; celebrate your similarities and differences and enjoy life.

 

Image Credit: Love Limitless, Hannah Anain