By FORREST WANG
CASA GRANDE HIGH SCHOOL, SENIOR, 17

Walking through a sea of people at school, the monotony of it all can become overwhelming: The same types of clothes, the same cliques and even the same high-pitched laugh. People everywhere, whether it be students or adults, conform to various trends or habits. However, amid the crowd are the people who long to be different, to be entirely true to themselves and their ideals. Casa Grande High School senior Olin Borse is among those various streaks of color determined to be themselves in the sameness of society.
“I like to be unique. I don’t like to just wear the same old stuff and follow everybody,” Borse said. “I like to follow my own hobbies, like making videos online and just playing around and editing them. I have a lot of fun with my hobbies.”
From hobbies to daily life, Borse takes a stance to be himself and commonly does things he feels are right, regardless of any criticism or public disapproval. Rather than pay attention to what others think about him, he is much more concerned with what he thinks about himself.
“Olin doesn’t really care what people think,” said sophomore Mandi Peterson, a nonconformist herself who is Borse’s girlfriend. “He just does his own thing. He’s very comfortable with himself.”
Individualistic in his views, Borse enjoys following his passions and interest despite other people’s opinions. In fact, he almost enjoys the attention that his unique personality and activities bring. To him, being himself is much more important than other people’s thoughts.
“One thing I also do is I’ve been wearing makeup,” Borse said. “I get a lot of funny looks. I like it. Almost like an attention whore. This kid is crazy — it’s funny.”
However, despite being a nonconformist himself, Borse neither looks down nor makes fun of those who conform or tend to follow trends.
“I try not to think of conformity in a negative fashion, but I kind of think people should try to not be the same,” Borse said. “Otherwise, if everyone conformed, talking to one person would be like talking to another. But it’s really their choice.”
Borse’s accepting attitude toward others extends to a wide range of people, whether they are conformists or nonconformists, extreme versions or even that curious group of people who specifically conform to not conform.
“I don’t hate those people. I actually kind of respect them for going out of the way to be themselves,” Borse said when asked about those who follow others who do not conform, which mirrored his answer when mentioning hard-core nonconformists. “I like the super-nonconformists. It’s their choice. They are trying to be individual themselves.”
Regardless of others, Borse has proven himself to be more than just a trend: He is more than a simple follower, and in this respect, he has found support in his ideals and decisions.
“I like how he’s very comfortable with himself and acts as who he is,” Peterson said. “I also like how he’s true to himself. He doesn’t try to change himself to please others. He’s kind of got the attitude that is like ‘take it or leave it.’ ”