During the Peer Leader training for the Youth Leadership Forum, Kristin Humphrey introduced our group what a “Zine” is. They are described as being self-published works of art that can focus on any topic of interest, whether it’s sports, LGBTQ rights, cartoons, or any other topic in-between. She asked our group of peer leaders to create our very own zines with a whole table of supplies at our disposal: scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, paper, magazines, etc., to help us self-express.
After exploring the magazines, I carefully picked out many images of what I wanted my zine to be. This was the end result:
While a very incomplete picture of who I am, each part of this zine showcases different aspects of how I identify as a human, and what my experiences describe of me. On each of these parts is a designated number, starting from one and ending with five with a description on the back of why each part is significant. This is what I wrote:
- “One day, I shall come back… Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just, go forward, in all of your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.” – The First Doctor from Doctor Who (1963). This quote is from my all-time favorite TV show, Doctor Who, and represents the ever-evolving change that I’ve had to endure throughout the course of my life. From meeting new friends, to losing the people I’ve loved and admired, and everything involving transition from elementary to middle School, middle school to high school, and high school going into college. To me, this quote tells people that you were a part of my life at one point, and that in turn, I was a part of yours. Friendships change, grow, fade, become closer, and form as they will. This isn’t good bye, it’s just farewell for now.
- I study Communication at Curry College in Milton, but this word has held a greater significance throughout the course my life. When I was about two years old, I had a lot of difficulties with speaking and I had to see a lot of speech therapists. One day, as I was coloring a picture on a piece of paper, I wanted the purple crayon. It was too far away though, and in that moment, something clicked in my head allowing for my jaw to move and create speech. One of my speech teachers seized the opportunity to ask me what color crayon I wanted, and I said “purple” as my first word. Many years later, after I said that word, I realized that I was developing language at an average rate for a toddler, but it was the disconnect from my brain to my mouth that made language difficult for me. Ever since, I have been articulating my thoughts to a much greater degree and have been very outspoken on subjects I’m passionate about.
- The picture of U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy II and Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys represent two distinctly Bostonian icons from Massachusetts. Boston, Lexington, and MA as a whole define an aspect of my identity and who I am as a person.
- The word “social” is deeply associated with many challenges earlier in my life as well as many of the strengths I gained as I got older. When I was in kindergarten, I had difficulty making friends during my first year. In preschool I made some friends, but adjusting to a new environment and starting over was definitely among one of my first social challenges. As I got older, I was able to better connect with people and get to know them for their interests, not just what interests match my own. Even today I still struggle with social challenges, but each day I at least strive to improve.
- “HEAR ME ROAR” This phrase is exactly as it might suggest: I am a very outspoken person when it comes to expressing myself. While I’m not obnoxious or even noisy about being outspoken, there is a 100% guarantee that at some point during a meeting or class discussion that I will voice my opinion. I speak very technically and precisely so that people can mostly understand what point I’m trying to get across. It might not work for some people to understand me, but at least I know that for most of the time, a lot of people will know exactly what I’m thinking. Your voice is like a tool, use it carefully, and you can really create a lot of impact with what your mission is.