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HUMANS OF JOHNS CREEK MADDIE KIM, staff writer

J

ohns Creek High School is, at a glance, simply a place of educa on, where students can learn and grow within its brick walls. However, during these past four years, it has become much more than a campus. As the student body has increased and diversified, this school has become a treasure chest of hidden gems—outstanding, unique students. With a popula on of nearly 2,000 students it is easy to get lost in the crowd, yet many students con nue to make an impression and stand out. Style is one medium of this originality. More so than trends, personal style is a unique form of self-expression, conveying a subtle message of mood, self-worth, aspira ons and character—

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I believe that my clothes are as much a part of me as my character is. -Sam Sheriff, junior

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the indefinable quality possessed by many of history’s fashion icons: Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Michael Jackson. As it is an outward demonstra on of a person’s inner self, style comes in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. “I believe that my clothes are as much a part of me as my character is,” commented junior Sam Sheriff. Sheriff is a prime example of individuality. Known as the “blazer guy” around the school, Sheriff is rarely seen without the old fashioned flair of es, suits and dress shoes and outside of school o en spor ng hats and other li le pieces of pizazz. In contrast, sophomore Sevda Arjomand is known for her quirky ou its. Self-described as eclec c, eccentric and fun, PHOTOS: ALICE BARSKY, MADDIE KIM, AND EMILY LIVINGSTON

What influences your style?* Peers.............34% Media...........20%

myself

peers

Myself...........46%

media *Poll based on surveys of 85 students

Arjomand uses her clothing to express her love of the fine arts. She o en experiments with fashion, ranging from funky vintage to goth-esque to girly-girl. “I think people could look at what I wear and have a pre y clear picture of who I am,” commented Arjomand. And Sheriff and Arjomand are just two of the individuals who go beyond the stereotypical Polo and Sperrys. Through outward appearance such as hair, accessories and clothes, students are able to express themselves as individuals. They cease to be one of 1,939 students, instead becoming themselves—the one and only. “I like being an individual and just doing what I aim to do. It doesn’t ma er if no one else likes it, I’m s ll going to do it, and I think the way I dress reflects that,” said junior Nick Velordi. The avenues of self-expression are not limited to style. The personality quirks and reputa on of an individual o en precede him or her. Students become known for their passions, ranging from academic subjects to a love of whales. The accomplishments and goals of this student body are the very heart of the school. But the tragedy is that o en mes it is easy to overlook the beauty of the individual. Throughout the course of a day, people will pass others in the halls, sit behind them in classes, even converse with no sense of excitement or wonder. There is, however, an abundance of judgment, o en giving rise

I think people could look at what I wear and have a pretty clear picture of who I am.

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-Sevda Arjomand, sophomore

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to instances not unlike the stories of bullying and ostracism commonly found on the news. Students are singled out for the very differences that should be celebrated: poli cal views, unpopular passions and appearances, to name a few. Many of these cases have dire consequences for both the bully and the vic m, including the teenage suicide epidemic. In a survey of high school students, the Na onal Youth Violence Preven on Resource Center found that one in five teens had thought about suicide, about one in six teens had made plans for

suicide, and more than one in 12 teens had a empted suicide in the last year. Being en rely preventable, these sta s cs are far too troubling. Essen ally, students turn to death as a way to circumvent their tormenters. Just as troubling, students would rather conform to peer pressure and expecta ons to be “normal” than display their true selves. But in order for innova on and progress, “new” and

I like being an individual and just doing what I aim to do, and I think the way I dress reflects that.

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-Nick Velordi, junior

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“different” must invade the sea of homogeneity. Celebri es like Ellen DeGeneres, Demi Lovato and Apple founder Steve Jobs experienced bullying in their youth. Through that experience, they have become the role models of today. “Your me is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intui on,” said Jobs in his commencement address to Stanford University graduates in 2005. Diversity is the very essence of American society. From the quirky, goth sophomore to the tall “blazer guy,” each is integral to the world. This uniqueness should be appreciated and encouraged, not stamped out. “I think you can’t let others get to you. It should only ma er how you feel, and you should do what makes you happy,” commented Velordi. Only in their teenage years, students are already losing their sense of wonder for the life. With so much more to experience beyond high school, trying to get through the day has become a higher priority than enjoying the day. Students fail to recognize that the people of this school are excep onal, beau ful and inspiring, but it is me that students open their eyes to the fact that everyone around campus has a remarkable story, and if they only take the me to see who is surrounding them, the humans of Johns Creek will truly shine through.

JCH102608  
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