Brooke Bullington: Revisiting Awktown

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My sophomore year, the Coat of Arms published an opinions piece titled, “Awktown, Population: Brooke Bullington.” Poorly written and awkward in itself, the op-ed discussed how acknowledging my constant discomfort allowed me to come to terms with myself. I owned up to my self-consciousness for the first time as I explained to the entire school – or rather whoever read that issue of the paper – how much of a freak I truly was.

Two years and countless columns later, I feel it’s safe to say that, for the most part at least, I have transcended my “awkward phase.” Though part of this came naturally through growing up and gaining confidence, I largely attribute this progress to something so small, and to the majority of the Menlo community, so unimportant: publishing my columns.

I’ve never been one for public speaking or even sharing my opinions with strangers. But I have always been one for writing them down. As a fourth grader, I decided I wanted to publish a book; my topic of choice was horses and the plot-line was not best-seller material, but I wrote it nonetheless. As I got older, writing picture books became scribbling in journals, and as high school approached, I pretty much put the pen down. But sophomore year, journalism provided both the motivation and the means for me to finally publish something – hence the awktown article.

Ever since then, I have become addicted to column writing. Being provided 400 words each issue to say essentially whatever I want gives me the power of influence. I can be personal or controversial, silly or complex, but no matter what, I have to be myself.

Though I hide behind my byline, allowing the Menlo community to know me on a personal level has given me the confidence that my awkward self once begged for.

My newfound self-assurance has helped me in an infinite number of ways, all thanks to the Coat of Arms.  This year, I hope to give back.