If you are bullied, you probably know how hard it is to stand up for yourself.  Even if you aren’t bullied, when someone says something harsh about you, you don’t quite know what to do.  Even if it is just advocating so that you can move to a different place in class, if it means anything at all to you, ask!

Soleil Violine

By standing up for yourself, or advocating, you never use “come-backs” or shoot back an insult.  That encourages arguments and fights.  We all know that never ends well.  If you are standing up against a classmate, and they say something rude about you, stay calm and reply something like, “Hey, that was pretty messed up.  Please don’t talk to me like that. I don’t talk to you like that.”

If that doesn’t end well, you should stop hanging out or being around that person.  If you are in the same class, tell the teacher.  When you talk to the teacher, be polite and reasonable.  Tell her what you would like, and if it doesn’t work out, offer to make a compromise.

Today at school, I wanted to play violin for my class, but I was too afraid to ask.  I seriously regretted it later because I worked so hard on the song.  Part of being a Linchpin is standing up for yourself and advocating.  Trust me, if you can stand up for yourself, you will always have an advantage.  Be strong.

First Day of College @ Age 11

SketchToday was the beginning of a different way of thinking for me.  I got to meet new teachers, new friends, and embrace a new type of education.  Because I’m eleven, you may think I’m starting middle school. I actually did that a few months ago. Now, I’m starting college, as a matriculating art major.

My mom drove me to the college and we climbed out of the car in the bitter cold.  We walked though campus, looking for the building and classroom.  As I opened the door, butterflies fluttered in my stomach.  This could turn out amazing, or disappointing.  I had mixed emotions as I determined my thoughts on the art class.

We’d arrived fifteen minutes early, so we chatted and waited until everyone was there.  The Professor gave us each a syllabus and I was surprised how few students had come to class.  We went over the syllabus and I was amazed at how simple The Professor made the class seem!

This experience will affect my life, and those of my siblings, greatly, by encouraging us to strive for success and reach our goals.  My amazingly cool parents are in the process of raising Linchpins.

Don’t Be Afraid

SoleilMy parents are raising me so that I can stand out, and not be afraid to be myself.  This is an amazingly important lesson, but sometimes I feel anxious about staying true to myself outside of my nuclear family.  It’s even hard to be myself amongst extended family and friends for fear of disappointing them.

I often think to myself, “Standing out will be simple!” If you have tried, you probably know, it’s easier said than done.  We worry about being pushed back in to our mental closet, criticized, and alone.  You HAVE to remember, others have trouble being their true selves, also.

Maybe they aren’t different the way you are, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have similar feelings. By attempting to be how you truly are, no matter how, where, and when, you are already becoming a Linchpin.  You ARE important. You are an artist, and no matter how challenging, you can become, yourself.