Open Talk with PKP – April 2014

Another month.  Another Open Talk.  As always, anything goes so submit your questions bellow!  Looking forward to “talking” to you all tomorrow evening.

When:  Tuesday April 29th, 2014 @ 8:00PM EST with early submissions beginning now.

Where: All questions will be answered via comments through this blog post.

How:  To submit a question, scroll to the bottom of your page, type in your name, email address, and question you would like answered.  (All e-mail addresses will remain anonymous and confidential).

-Dean

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Comments

    • PKP

      I too thought that double breasted blazers were for the older folks, however, I think you’re right in that they’re making a comeback this year. A lot of brands are constructing them with “the youth” in mind via cleaner lines and shaper fits. I really like this one from Kent and Curwen.

      -Dean

  1. 1) Do you wear preppy T Shirts from brands such as Vineyard Vines and Southern Tide?

    2) Do you have khaki shorts in your wardrobe?

    3) If you haven’t already, you should consider making a beach trip essentials post before the summer (my beach trip is in early June)! Just an idea for the archives

    • PKP

      Question 1: I do! I usually wear a soft long-sleeve t-shirt whenever I go to the gym in the mornings.

      Question 2: Most definitely. I usually don’t wear khaki shorts too often as I’m impartial to the color white, however, you can’t go wrong with a classic.

      Question 3: Thanks for the suggestion. Will definitely add that to the list!

      -Dean

  2. Dexterous Prep

    1.) What are views on contrasting collar shirts? (Ex.:blue striped shirt with white collar) kind of the classic Wall Street banker look
    2.) Do you have any experience with Levi jeans?
    3.) Have you held any jobs or internships? (Other than PKP)

    • PKP

      Question: The more colors the better! I have a couple of oxfords from Brooks Brothers (similar here) that have the two-tone motif.

      Question 2: Unfortunately, I don’t. I really need to buy a pair considering they’re a classic. I’m pretty picky when it comes to jeans because I prefer a really deep wash with a slim cut.

      Question 3: I have! I worked at a five star hotel’s restaurant (basically the equivalent to a host) when I was sixteen. My parents were 100% against the decision the entire time (they actually tried to get me to quit numerous times), however, I felt it was important to show college admission’s counselors that I could balance both academics and outside work obligations. In retrospect, I was pretty lucky to get the job. I had no work experience and was literally the youngest person there…As for internships, the only one I had was for a governor’s campaign when I was sixteen. I may not have known what I was doing, but it was probably one of the best experiences of my life. I learned a ton about myself as well as what I wanted to do in the future.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Stubbs are awesome. Period. I don’t have a huge collection (one can certainly dream), but the ones I do have are religiously taken care of. The one “draw back” about Stubbs is that they are a statement piece – i.e. you can’t wear the same pair on a weekly – or even monthly – basis. While the shoes are an investment, they’re incredible comfortable to travel in – and just look absolutely awesome if paired correctly. Stubbs is actually having a sale at the moment. The selection isn’t that great, but you can’t really complain about a 50% markdown.

      -Dean

  3. Ashley

    Are you ever going to host an event? I know this is pretty common with other bloggers. Would love to meet you in person!

    • PKP

      It has certainly crossed my mind as there is actually something in the works at the moment. We haven’t finalized all the details, however, I think it would be a great experience for myself as well as my readers. I suppose you’ll just have to wait and see!

      -Dean

  4. Joe

    I’m headed up to Asheville NC this weekend. It’s supposed to be about 60 all weekend. Any recommendations for a causal outdoor piece that can go over a button down? It’s my 10 year high school reunion and since I went to a boarding school, it needs to be preppy.

    • PKP

      Off topic, but I cannot wait to attend my high school graduation. I have no idea why, but I think about it on a regular basis. Anyways, if I were you, I would go with dark-wash jeans, needlepoint belt, striped OCBD, quilted navy vest (will keep you warm in the evening), and a comfortable pair of moccasins. If that doesn’t sound quite right to you, feel free to comment back and we can discuss a few other options whenever I do the second run-through tonight.

      PS: Asheville is amazing. You have to go to Biscuit Head.

      • Joe

        Off topic: I can’t wait for the reunion too! Reconnecting with guys I spent 4 years with is going to be a great time. I saw your blog about Biscuit Head and will totally be there and tweet you some pics. I was lucky to live up there for 10 years and can’t wait to get back.

        On topic: I don’t have dark wash jeans but have some navy blue polo chino’s I was going to wear with narrow brown lace ups (red laces) since my moccasins are blue also. The belt I was planning on. As far as the OCBD, I was going to go with white and a dark bow tie (not blue) and for a sweater I was thinking a tan half zip. Thoughts and any suggestions on some other useful pieces that i should keep in hand to make a few other outfits with this?

        Thanks for all the advice. I really do appreciate it and enjoy all your content.

        • PKP

          Off Topic: Yes please to! Asheville is absolutely amazing (as I’m sure you know since you went to school there)…if I could live there permanently I would move in a heartbeat.

          On Topic: Sounds like a solid pairing to me. My only suggestion would be to maybe change out the brown tie for something a little more colorful (maybe something blue or even a knit tie)?? Just a thought.

          As for other items to keep on hand, changing up the OCBD/sweater pairing is always great for a quick change as well as throwing in another pair of pants should you want to reuse the OCBD.

          Feel free to comment back if you need more suggestions. Enjoy the reunion!

          -Dean

  5. Dear Dean,
    I’m the proud older sister of a soon to be high school graduate and valedictorian. I’ve been stumped on what to gift my brother as a graduation present. Any thoughts on what to get him? As a little background, He’ll be attending college in the fall as a double major in environmental science and music, if this helps. Thank you in advance for your help! Hope you’re enjoying this arrival of Spring.

    -B. Murguia

    • PKP

      Well congratulations to your younger brother. Certainly an accomplishment that is not easy to obtain. Props to him!

      If I were you, I would try and get him something that either relates to the school he is about to attend (example: a belt or tie) or get something that he could use during his freshman year of college. I know it sounds a little cheesey, but one of my friends go me a “happy jar.” It basically was this old mason jar filled with a bunch of uplifting quotes, phrases, or memories that was to be opened whenever things just weren’t going to right way (i.e. rough day, bad grade on an exam, the feeling of homesickness, etc). Aside from clothing, that jar was the first thing I packed up before leaving home from DC. Definitely one of the best gifts I received during graduation…

      -Dean

  6. kyle

    What is your thoughts on wearing a oxford under a polo or rugby, and do you think it also works with short and long sleeve?

    • PKP

      Ha! Well, I don’t know if I’m “surrounded” by attention, however, I would say there’s two sides to this.

      On one side, it’s pretty surreal. Turning on my phone in the morning is always filled with pings, vibrations, and notifications from a dozen or so different social networking apps. I love reading e-mails from people who take the time to write into me as well; laughing at Instagram comments about who I resemble most (JoeBro vs. a list of actors I can’t remember); or just paging through my various social platforms to see who’s tuning into me. In short, it’s pretty awesome because I’ve never thought of myself as someone who deserve such attention.

      On another side, it’s a bit overwhelming. As a teenager, I tended to be more of a person who had a smaller friend group and just did my own thing – i.e. not having 120k+ people listening to me on a regular basis. I think the “worst part” (I use that term very loosely as I love every part about PKP) is that I want to try and do everything right. I want to please everyone. I want to talk about all the topics people want to hear about. And I want everyone to like/agree with what I’m saying. Well, the fact is that everyone isn’t going to like/agree with me and that’s 100% ok. For me, having attention is awkward because it’s not something that I ever wanted…however, PKP have a fraction of the success it does today without the attention from readers such as yourself.

      So, it’s a double edged sword. Cool in many ways. Weird in others. But incredibly humbling nonetheless.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Well I definitely wouldn’t cross someone off just because they had some type of social media presence, but I’m not for sure if I would enjoy dating someone who blogged/worked in social. For me, there are some things I prefer to keep private and relationships would probably fall into that category. It’s not like I would want to “hide” anything, I just really don’t see the point in making a big deal of one’s relationship via social media. As many people know, I like to have a little privacy and relationships are one of those things that don’t seem to “fit” with the content I talk about on a regular basis.

  7. Daniel L Boyd

    When you graduated high school, what were you thinking? Did you ever feel nervous about going to college?

    • PKP

      When I graduated high school, I remember not really thinking too much about the whole thing. I know it sounds bad, but it was really kind of emotionless for me. Sure it was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but I knew there was SO much to look forward to that I didn’t even think about/dwell on the past. In retrospect, I wish I would have taken a more active role in the moment.

      As for college, I definitely felt nervous about taking one step closer to being in the real world, but my excitement about living in DC far surpassed my worries/emotions. Yea I was scared about being on my own, going to a school where I knew no one, and trying to make it as a freshman, however, I felt ready to start college and really make the best of my four years at GWU.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Haha get ready for quite the story. So my best and worst memory of freshman year is the same. I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but let me explain.

      So, during freshman year I had two roommates – Roommate A & B – (they were both awesome guys that I’ll be friends with forever) and they enjoyed going out on the weekends. One Friday night, roommate A and I came back to our dorm with a couple of friends after going to a couple of the Greek events before rush. About ten minutes little, roommate B came back and literally just crashed on the bed. He seemed a little out of it, but he was interjecting in the conversation so none of us assumed anything.

      About 15 minutes later, roommate B gets up to go to the bathroom (you have to enter our closet to get to the bathroom), but roommate A was in the bathroom. Roommate B tries to force himself in, but doesn’t make it. As a result, roommate B throws up on my entire closet. No joke. He hit the blazers, all my shirts, and a handful of pants that were close to the ground.

      It was probably my worst nightmare, but I just started laughing. I think it was out of shock, but I really just didn’t know what to do. After coming back to reality, I started taking everything out, headed down to the laundry room, and loaded up every drum I could get my hands on.

      For the rest of the night up until the early morning, I was going back and forth to the laundry room in order to wash just about every piece of clothing I had brought to school. In retrospect, it was absolutely hilarious because of all the people for that to happen to, it was MY closet that was thrown up on. I give my roommate a hard time on a regular basis, however, it’s a priceless story that really brought us together as roommates.

      So yea, my roommate hurling Chinese food on my entire wardrobe is my best memory of college…

      -Dean

  8. Marcus

    What are your plans for this summer? Anything exciting we can expect to see?

    Your blog is awesome by the way!

    • PKP

      Well, I actually have a big project that I’ve been working on for the past three/four months that will launch at the beginning of June. I can’t say much, however, I will say that “PKP” is going to go through a major update. More to come!

      Other than that, I have a couple of fun trips planned (St. Petersburg, Charleston, Athens Greece, hopefully NYC at some point) and intend to try and get as much done before going back to school.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Ha. I think they’re confused most of the time. Mom and Dad definitely support what I’m doing with PKP, however, sometimes it’s difficult for them to really grasp what exactly I “do.” While they may not be able to relate, I do know that they support me which means the absolute world to me.

      -Dean

  9. Christina B aka "ninzybeanzy"

    Hey PKP! Just want to say thanks in always responding to my comments I post on your Facebook page and instagram!

    On with the question: I am thinking of starting my own start up with a focus on strategic social media communication (I won’t get into all of the details). Do you have any advice for someone jumping into working on their own start up?

    Thank you!

    • PKP

      Hey Christina. I most definitely recognize the name! Sounds like a pretty cool project you are about to embark on. Congratulations! The best advice I can give is to plan plan plan. Launching any kind of venture doesn’t happen overnight and will require a good amount of planning/coordinating/thinking before you even begin to execute your idea. While there will be times when you feel overwhelmed, stick to your guns and don’t give up!

      Oh, and do your research about the industry you are about to be a part of. Look at those who do stuff really well – and really poorly. Learning from your “competition” is a great way to prevent unnecessary (and costly) mistakes. Best of luck!

      -Dean

  10. Kahlil

    Hey Dean!

    Two questions. First, what are your favorite summer activities to do with friends (ex. going to the beach, sports, movies). Also, as the weather starts to warm up I feel as if the options for clothes start to dwindle. The chino shorts and oxford combo gets old very quickly. Any suggestions on ways to mix up the outfits without looking like I’m dressed for a snowstorm or formal event while I’m at school.

    Finally, if you haven’t played before I highly recommend trying squash. I started playing a year ago and I’ve had the most fun that I’ve ever had in any sport. (It’s more exhausting than it looks)

    Thanks,
    Kahlil

    • PKP

      Question 1: I love playing tennis on the weekends, hanging by the pool on a lazy day, or going out to dinner on the water/downtown on a Friday evening with a group of friends. I think my favorite part is being of the age where I can travel with friends. I love my family, but having free reign of the itinerary is pretty awesome.

      Question 2: Unfortunately, guys really don’t have that many options when it comes to dressing for the summer. Instead of developing different “looks,” I would try and incorporate different patterns/textures into your wardrobe – i.e. linen, madras, patchwork, oxford cloth, silk, etc.

      Question 3: I have never played squash, however, I do enjoy tennis so I think I might have to give it a try now that you mention it. Thanks for the suggestion!

      -Dean

    • PKP

      I would go with either an oversized sweater or some type of cardigan. When it comes to the women’s apparel, my knowledge is pretty limited…a second opinion is definitely a good idea before making a final decision. Wish I could give better advice, Maddie!

      -Dean

  11. Bryan R

    Hey Dean, I’m currently a senior in HS and headed off to college in the fall! I’m extremely excited to start a new chapter in my life, but with that excitement comes a little anxiety, as I’m sure you know. Obviously, academics are a priority, but I think extracurriculars are a huge part of the college experience. What kind of clubs or organizations do you recommend joining? Also, how did you manage to find a balance between your studies, a social life, and most importantly sleep!?

    • PKP

      Question 1: Congratulations on graduating high school, Bryan! It’s certainly overwhelming to prepare for college, however, you’ll quickly realized that it’s one of the best experiences of your entire life. When it comes to clubs, I encourage you to join whatever YOU are interested in. When I was a freshman, I joined a club that centered around entrepreneurship as well as one that was politically affiliated in order to connect with people who shared the same interests as myself. While extra-curriculars are important, it’s more important to participate in clubs/societies that directly relate to your interests/major. In other words, don’t worry about joining a bunch of clubs you really aren’t interested in. The only thing you’ll be doing is wasting your time…

      Question 2: So finding a balance is different for everyone. For me, I try and put everything I can into my calendar in order to know what I have to get done before I can go out with friends. My style is to work hard Monday – Thursday in order to enjoy Friday/the weekends doing whatever I want. It may not be the “best” style, however, that’s what works for me. Don’t be afraid to try a few ideas out before deciding on something. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another.

      -Dean

  12. cHs

    Where will you be heading to school in the fall? What are your future plans: full time blogging or another career?

    • PKP

      Question 1: I’ll be headed back to GWU in August as a half Sophomore/Junior. Mom and Dad weren’t too keen on the whole “permanent stay at home child” idea.

      Question 2: In terms post-college, I have no idea what I’ll get myself into. For now, I’m trying to learn – and try – as much as I can in order to figure out what I really love. As for PKP, it’ll be my main focus over the next two and a half years before I make another pivot. The one thing I do know is that I have far larger goals in life than to blog via PKP. I think it’s important to always raise the bar and look at what’s coming “next.”

      Should be an interesting ride!

      -Dean

    • PKP

      I think I would buy a vintage watch that had some type of historical significance. Maybe it was worn by someone famous or maybe it’s simply just a piece from the first year ____ watchmaker went into business.

      Whatever the case may be, I think it would be cool to just wear a piece of history on your wrist.

      -Dean

  13. jared

    What’s your opinion on casual vests? any recommendations or what they should be worn with? Thanks and sorry the question is a little late.

    • PKP

      I typically pair vests with either a pair of dark-wash jeans or casual chinos – sorry, I’m thinking in fall mode at the moment.

      In terms for spring, I would be careful wearing any type of quilted vest as they can sometimes look out of season. If I were you, I would try and incorporate something with color in order to keep with the current season.

      -Dean

  14. Brendan

    Hey Dean/PKP, I am not sure what I should call you ahah.

    What do you think about the canvas sperries instead of the traditional leather ones?

    Thanks, Brendan

    • PKP

      I answer to both! Whatever you prefer.

      Personally, I would lean more towards the traditional leather ones. I feel the canvas aren’t as usable as the leather plus they can’t be cleaned as easily.

      -Dean

  15. HD

    Hey PKP,
    I have recently started reading your blog and wanted to start of by saying thanks. I really do enjoy reading your posts.
    I will be starting my freshman year of college next year (finally) and the school I will be attending is not preppy whatsoever and obviously, I’m quite preppy. My only concern, which I know sounds bad and shouldn’t bother me, is that people might think I’m gay or something (NO offense to that life style whatsoever) … Any type of response to those who ask why I always dress (to them what seems feminine) but in reality is preppy?
    Really do appreciate everything and thank you!

    • PKP

      Welcome! Glad to meet a new reader.

      The biggest take away from my freshman year is that people in college just don’t care about what other people do/wear/say. I’m not saying that people don’t have an opinion, however, the likelihood of something “teasing” or “bothering” you over your preferred dress is slim to none. Sure someone may make a comment once in awhile, but worrying that someone may think you’re “gay” is highly unlikely.

      The point is, you are going to be surrounded by a LOT of different people come August. Sure the campus may not be “preppy,” but I can guarantee there will be people who dress the way you like to dress – as well as those who don’t. If I were you, I would wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Don’t let someone’s insignificant opinion make you change your preferences…

      “You do you.”

      -Dean

  16. Dexterous Prep

    If you’re house was burning down and you could only grab one piece from your wardrobe what would you grab?

    • PKP

      I go down in flames with the closet.

      Joking.

      If I could only save one time, I would take my dad’s original Brooks Brothers navy blazer. He bought it decades ago whenever he got his first “real” job in his twenties and has since passed it down to me. Whenever I wear the piece, I always think of him and how cool it is to have it a part of my closet. Literally the most valuable thing – in my eye – that I own.

      -Dean

  17. evan

    Hey Dean! I’ve been following you for a long time now and i love your taste in style. Im currently looking for a nice pair of loafers with a little bit of color. I loved the pair of Austen Heller loafers, but they’re too expensive. Whether they’re penny, tassel, or laced loafers doesn’t matter. I just really love the pair from that blog post and need to add some color. I looked on the other blog post as well when you mentioned about the spring time loafers. Please help I’m a junior in high school and looking for something cheaper. Preferably under 100 or a great sale well below 100. Thanks!

  18. Alec

    Hey PKP,

    I want to get a watch that is casual and that I can wear on most days with most outfits. I was wondering if you had any personal suggestions?

    • PKP

      If you’re looking for something casual, I would suggest Daniel Wellington. They’re watches are simple, classic, and can be interchanged with different bands. I suggest going with “The Bristol.”

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Oh, mind re-sending the link? It just went to the main sale section of GH Bass. I see a red driver. Was that the one you were referring to?

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Ah! Got it. I like them. My only concern is that they are white meaning that you’ll have to take extra care of them in order to prevent any scuffing.

      Great find. That price is awesome!

      -Dean

  19. Elijah Barron

    Hey Dean!
    Two questions:
    1) What watch should I buy? I have been reading around the internet and cannot seem to find a good one for everyday wear?
    2) Also, for college, do you have any basic packing list of things to bring?

    -Elijah

    • PKP

      Question 1: Well I think it all depends on your budget as well as what you’re going for. When it comes to watches for everyday wear, I like to refer people to Daniel Wellington – my favorite is “The Bristol.”

      Question 2: I do! I did a blog post about it a long time ago (see here). I’ll probably be revising it/doing more posts about college throughout the summer so stay on the lookout!

      -Dean

  20. Nicole Joy

    Dear PKP,

    I am currently a junior in high school and early admission for college is coming much quicker than I had anticipated. I thought I knew FOR SURE what I want to do but now that I need to make a decision I’m panicked. I’ve lived in Georgia most of my life, and although I love it, I feel like I need to get away from my “home roots” for a while and branch out on my own. My dad is really pushing UGA but I’m not so sure that’s where I want to go anymore. Do you have any advice on choosing the right college? I know of multiple I am interested in and will apply to but I’m nervous about acceptance and honestly just the future in general.

    Thank you in advance and I love the work you have done with PKP! -Nikki

    P.S. Sorry for the late comment, Latin homework took a little longer than expected!

    • PKP

      Hey Nicole,

      First off, breath. Everything is going to be fine!

      Second, picking a college is not easy so don’t give yourself too hard of a time. While people’s opinions (like our parents or friends) should be acknowledged, the ultimate decision is yours. Since you’re going to be the one living there for the next four years, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion – it’s your life!

      When it comes to “choosing the right college,” I would consider what your interests are, whether you like to be at a traditional campus or one within a city, whether you like large schools or smaller schools, as well as what you intend to major in. While rankings and numbers should definitely be looked at, happiness is probably one of the most important factors that should be considered. I’m not saying you should take the easy road and go to a school that doesn’t challenge you, however, it doesn’t make sense to enroll in a college that you know is not right the right fit.

      So, think things over and take your time. Weigh the pros. Weigh the cons. And make a decision that YOU are going to be happy with. If things don’t go the way you plan, you can always transfer! Remember, there’s also another option.

      Feel free to comment back if you want to talk more about this. I can completely relate to feeling a little “lost” when it comes to making that kind of decision.

      -Dean

  21. Evan Arenas

    Hey there Dean,

    Excuse me for adding to the list of questions unanswered after you were off to bed! I’ve been thinking this for so long and I kept telling myself that I’d ask, so now here I am (not putting it off anymore). How do you wear undershirts? Now, I mean white t-shirts, crew neck or v-neck. I typically lean toward wearing one with every collared shirt (and even polos too), but on tumblr I see plenty of guys sporting just the shirt with multiple top buttons open. Basically, the “air-y” look. I’m just curious how you work it. Yay or nay on undershirts, and when to wear them. Thank you, sir!

    • PKP

      Hey Evan,

      No worries on the late submission! Totally alright with me. To be 100% honest with you – I only wear undershirts in the winter in order to combat the cold. In the summer, I think it’s just too hot to wear an undershirt under a polo/OCBD/dress shirt – especially when you live in the south.

      I think this all comes down to a personal preference. Some people like to wear them and some don’t. If you feel more comfortable in one, you should by all means wear one.

      -Dean

    • PKP

      Hey Steve,

      If I were you, I would go with the Daniel Wellington. I really like the simplicity of their pieces and think the interchangeable band is a great bonus.

      -Dean

  22. cochran.ross

    Hey Dean,
    Just wanted to say I love your blog and everything you talk about describes me to the core! Just wondering, but were you in a fraternity? Once again, I adore your blog and will be here a lot more!

    • PKP

      Hey there,

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

      So when I was a freshman at GWU, I rushed during the fall and ended up passing on a bid to the fraternity that I was aiming for. For me, I just felt that it wasn’t something that I could make the time commitment to and thought it wasn’t in my best interest to join. With that being said, the majority of my friends are in Greek life, however, it is not “necessary” for your college experience.

      If I were you, I would go to the rush events and see if it’s something that YOU enjoy. Remember, every school’s Greek life is the same so walk in with an open mind.

      -Dean

  23. Elliot Walsh

    Hello Dean,
    I absolutely love your blog and instagram. I have just been under a lot of stress lately and wanted some advice. First, I am an 8th grader at public school looking into either private/boarding school or public school. My brother went to private school and loved it there and was basically a legacy. He was valedictorian and Mr. Canisius (a great honor.) I would like to go there but am just nervous about living up to him, as my parents always tell me to be more like by brother. I get good grades (always 96 or above) but feel like I am not as smart as him. I don’t know if you have a brother or sister, but do you know what I am going through? Would you recommend public or private school? What was your public school experience like? Also, I like to think I dress very mature for my age. My friends also dress like me and we often get snarky comments about the way we dress. Some people even get offended. Did you get these comments too at public school? How did you handle these and why does it bother people so much that I wear brooks brothers, lacoste, vineyard vines, ralph lauren and cole haan while some people wear abercrombie and hollister? It doesn’t bother me so why should it bother them?
    P.S
    Sorry for all the questions and my extremely late post.

    • PKP

      Hello Elliot,

      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I just now saw your comment. So you’e mentioned a number of different topics/questions so I’m going to break things down so we hit everything in your question.

      Re: “Living Up To A Sibling”
      While I’m the oldest out of my siblings, I can totally relate to the feeling that comes with sibling rivalry. Having another sibling (whether that be older or younger) who excels at something (academics, sports, music, etc.) can sometimes be intimidating especially if their area of greatness is our area of weakness. Though having someone you look up to/aspire to is great, you should NEVER feel as though you are inferior because you don’t “live up to a sibling.” We each have our strengths – and weakness – which make us uniquely different from everyone else. While you may not get the kinds of grades your brother does, YOU excel in areas that does not.

      Re: Public vs. Private
      I went to a public school for the entirety of my elementary education (K-12) mainly because the public school where I lived was better than most (if not all) of the private schools in my state. While I had a great experience during those 13+ years, I do feel that I may have felt more comfortable in a private school. Why? Not because it’s “private,” but because the classes are smaller, the education (generally) is more rigorous, as the overall quality of the education (generally) is better since you are paying to go to school. With that being said, public schools and private schools have their pluses and minuses. If I were you, I would try and figure out WHY you want to go to a private school. Is it because you want a for “formalized” education? Is it because you don’t feel challenged at your current school? Is it because you feel like you need to live up to a sibling? Or is it just that you simply WANT to make a change in your life? You don’t need to answer all of these questions, however, attending a public school is not for everything just as attending a private school is not for everyone.

      Re: My High School Experience
      As I said above, I enjoyed my high school experience. I liked the school I attended, was surrounded by a great group of friends, took challenging classes that pushed my limits, and was able to join a number of clubs that helped to build out my resume. In my opinion, the categorization of school (public vs private) really doesn’t “make” your experience – you do. Going to a private school does not “guarantee” a great high school experience because its impact is pretty minimal at best. What makes a great high school experience is your willingness to get involved, step outside of your comfort zone, and make friends who share similar interest.

      Re: Dressing
      Many of the kids that attended my high school dressed as myself, however, it wasn’t everyone. You’re always going to have people who make snarky comments about the way you dress, but that’s life! I still have people (even in College) who question why I wear the things I do, but I have my reasons and feel no need to explain them to those that question it. The point is, you shouldn’t go to a private school ONLY because you think everyone is going to dress like you. Sure it’s annoying for people to constantly question your preferred dress, however, you just have to own it! So there’s people who don’t like BB and Lacoste. Great. Their loss.

      I know it’s difficult to understand (and I do NOT mean to belittle you in any form so please don’t take it that way), however, as you grow up you’ll realize that worrying what others think of you just isn’t that important. If there’s ONE regret I have about high school it’s that I didn’t “own” myself better. Sure I wore and did what I want, but I was always question/worrying about what others thought about me in the back of my mind. I think you worded it perfectly – “it doesn’t bother me so why should it bother them.” Stick to that.

      SO. I’m sure this answer is way more than what you wanted, but I wanted to take the time to fully answer your question as it’s something that a lot of people can relate to. Feel free to comment back if you want me to elaborate on something as I would be happy to do so. Thanks for writing in Elliot and remember to always own your identity!

      -Dean

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