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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
Features Writer

The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

Others’ opinions shouldn’t discourage you

Overall, I’d have to say the fourth grade was one of my favorite years growing up. Math was still in the realm of possibilities and if I went anywhere, it was in a single-file line so it was pretty hard to get lost. While I basked in the simple life of a 9-year-old, there were still things that managed to stress my young mind.

One of those things was my classmates. I loved the friends I had and I was never one to be mean, but sometimes, the teasing would get to me. I remember one week I got ridiculed for being “girly” because I was following American Idol that year with my mom. I don’t know what’s “girly” about singing, but regardless this experience stuck with me.

From that point on, I was always a little cautious and avoided doing anything that could label me as “a girl.” I’m sure my story isn’t very unique among guys. Although, at the end of the day, it just seems like boys giving each other grief. I feel it’s damaging for males to live under the constant pressure of being a “man.”

How people want to live their lives should be their own choice and they shouldn’t be scared to do what feels right. No matter who you are, you should not be bound by your gender or race to determine what is normal for you to do. Ever since getting over my fear of being “girly,” I’ve been exposed to a lot of great stuff that I would have been too embarrassed to try before.

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Over Thanksgiving break, my stepsister, Caroline, convinced me to go with her to get a pedicure while we caught up and afterwards, she’d buy me Leo’s Coney Island. If you’ve ever been to a Leo’s, you know how enticing this offer was.

Now, before this, I’d never even been in a nail salon and I had no idea what to expect. Most of all, I was deathly scared of someone I knew stumbling in and seeing me in there. As we walked in we were greeted by a pack of small Asian ladies who all seemed very surprised to see me there.

As one of the women helped Caroline pick a nail polish color, another grabbed me by the hand and guided me to a massage chair in the far back corner of the salon. She motioned at the chair and left me there, assuming I knew what was going on. After a moment of critical thinking, I rolled up my jeans and stuck my feet in the greenish-blue waters of the tiny foot hot tub and, holy cow, was that relaxing. The massage chair fired up and I melted into it.

The pedicure hadn’t even started yet and it already became clear why my mom is always going to these places: They are awesome.

When it was all over, I felt sublime. I wondered: Why was I so reluctant in the first place? Who says pedicures are for ladies only? No one. No one should be afraid to try anything because of who they are. If you let the pressure dictate who you are, then you aren’t living your life to the fullest.

Even if people do give you grief for breaking out of your comfort zone, it’s no reason to give up who you are.

Trying new things is what makes life great. Since going to Elite Nail Salon, I’ve tried to be more open-minded and not need Leo’s Coney Island to motivate me to try new things, and I hope you will too, and don’t let others’ opinions prevent you from living life to its fullest.

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