Benefit of the Doubt

Being a teenager is all about looking for the best in people. It's about looking past the surface into something deeper. It's not that stereotypes are false, it's just that they don't tell the whole story. When you group people and write them off for what they look like, how they sound, and what you take them as, you miss out on the opportunity to possible meet an amazing person. It's crazy, people are never what they appear to be just like those weird car mirror messages. You've got to open minded, ready to be mind blown, and give people the benefit of the doubt.

Let it be known that I won my election. I'm officially the next president of UVM's IRA (Inter-Residence Association). You all know I was called by the current president, Knight, and I was kind of worried because he said we needed to "talk." I ran unopposed but still, I was like holy hell (oxymoron) - something happened. He tells me I've got the position and I just flip out, yelling as loud as possible. Victory is mine, and I'll take what I can get. Krabs and Joelly-Bear congratulate me, as I step out of the shower and in my black & white plaid boxers, NBD. So happy to start my reign of terror term of awesomeness. I'm going to be giving people the benefit of the doubt. That means until you mess up, do something wrong, or show some malice, we're golden in my book. It's a clean slate until you smudge it all up, and you've got clean up your act from there. Fair is fair. This week has been a weird one. I don't what's been going with people lately but the staring has been off the charts. I'll just be walking along and then I'll get a weird look and them I'll people one back. I'm talking like Raven-Symone, what the eff did you just say, neck rolling, sassafras singing, loud black woman attitude. It's legendary, like come at me. First and foremost, who are you, secondly why are you staring at me. Either you've never seen a sexier African-American teenage boy before, or the amount prep I'm wearing is just too much for you to handle, either way, you need to keep your eyes to yourself. Didn't your momma ever tell you it was rude to stare. Well, here's the memo it is. When you're walking anywhere on campus and there are people coming the other way you're not obligated to stare them down. In fact, I would highly suggest you don't. Me, personally I like to smile or do an awkward no teeth smile at anyone I don't know. Sorry, you're looking at me, but that's what you're going to get. People need to put away the perpetual scowls, the dagger eyes, and show some pearly whites. Smiling at strangers isn't weird, it's all it takes to seriously brighten someone's day. Instead of the scoff, the rolling the eyes, and all that crazy nonsense, be nice and give people the benefit of the doubt with a smile. Then there's the blatant staring when you see someone who catches your eye. Guys, put your tongues back in your mouth, and your eyes back in their sockets. No girl wanted to be scanned up an down like a barcode by your peepers. You've got to be subtle with the looks and steal a glance every once in a while. Hopefully you've learned not to stare at the donk or the bobangas, that's just a slap and half waiting to happen. Girls, same goes for you. Staring at the pectoids, abdominals and arm muscle-thingies on your hunky-dreamboat is just as objectifying. Retract those laser beams and learn the art of subtlety. Drooling and salivating is not a good look. Benefit of the doubt, not needed, we all know what you're looking at.

Making first impressions is kind of like super important. This week I've been going out of my way to muster up the courage to meet new people. I'm absolutely sure I leave a lasting impression, it's like once you get a taste of me you're going to be wanting more. I had hall council yesterday and we had the delegation from the South, our doppelganger of a residence hall, come on over to collaborate for our huge end of the year event. We're all going around saying our names and stuff and there's me who forgets what we're supposed to say and says it with my own personal touch of spunk. The entire meeting that's how I am, just giving little hints of who I am. That's just how I do things and the way it works. You've only got one shot to make a good first impression, so definitely be yourself and natural in interacting with strangers. Don't pull out all your stops and quirks or you'll be weird, but don't be too reserved either or you won't be memorable. So I'm walking back from my math class early, and I see this table for becoming active in helping determine how food is distributed and overall bettering the world. I'm all for that, for real. I stop at the table and I look up and who am I talking to, none other than one of the girls on campus that I might have a smidgen of a crush on. The dame is eloquent, unbearable beautiful, and her laugh was one of the cutest I've ever heard. Could you say my infatuation with her grew at that moment, why yes. I formally introduced myself and pretty much let her know what was up in my shy, boyish, and indirect way. I hope she gave me the benefit of the doubt because I'd like sit on a plaid blanket and have a picnic in the park with that one. Then there was the other day when I was walking to my African Religions class. There's the other girl, who I refer to as Jasmine, which is ridiculous, but she's got that middle-eastern looking with the brown sugar complexion, the long flowing black hair, and those dark brown eyes that look like pool of amber scented rain. She just walks by me and I'm like done. Like damn girl, I would like to say, "damn girl, you've got it going on" - her perfectly straight, classy and properly together outfit, and a smell of freshly laundered sheets, please come and get it. Too bad I was most definitely feeling way too timid to actually speak to her. How do you talk to someone you don't know out of nowhere. That just doesn't happen very often. I just want her to give me the benefit of the doubt and come and pursue all of this.
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Being a teenager is all about getting out of your comfort zone when it comes to people. You're not always going to be around people you know, and everyone starts out as strangers. It's up to you make the effort to truly get to know people and show them not only that you care, but who you are as well. You've got to be a little political in your approach, but bring the best of what you've got, and trust me you've got a lot. We're teens, it's what we do. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Exclusive: Actor Victor Webster was all smiles on the set of “Continuum” TV series in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on February 20, 2012.
My blog post question for the day is ... if you could meet anyone in the world who would it be and why? That's a tough question. First and foremost, Keke Palmer so I can make her swoon, and then make her mine and put a ring on it. Secondly, probably Josh Hutcherson or Victor Webster, just some down to Earth actors, NBD.

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