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Cornrows and Crocs: Hannah Rollins cannot be stopped

Rollins+after+participating+in+a+mud+run+in+2014.++She+has+participated+in+many+runs+in+addition+to+the+other+athletic+activities+she+competes+in.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Hannah+Rollins%29
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Cornrows and Crocs: Hannah Rollins cannot be stopped

Rollins after participating in a mud run in 2014.  She has participated in many runs in addition to the other athletic activities she competes in. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Rollins after participating in a mud run in 2014. She has participated in many runs in addition to the other athletic activities she competes in. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Rollins after participating in a mud run in 2014. She has participated in many runs in addition to the other athletic activities she competes in. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Rollins after participating in a mud run in 2014. She has participated in many runs in addition to the other athletic activities she competes in. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Jessie Beddow

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Camo crocs. Cornrows from Cabo. And costumes… lots and lots of costumes. This is not the description of a colorful and confident cartoon character, but of sophomore Hannah Rollins.

I am sitting with Rollins in her teal blue bedroom. There are written quotes in black, curly letters pasted on the walls throughout the room.

“Which is your favorite?” I asked, as I nodded towards a few of them by her desk.

She walked over and thought about it for a while. Finally, she said, “This one!” as she pointed to a quote that read, ‘Did I say that out loud?’

“There is no filter on my mouth, or my thoughts, or how I dress… sometimes I just say what the elephant in the room is,” Rollins said with a broad smile on her face.  

 Hannah Rollins, at age three, with her parents. “They have always let me express myself,” said Rollins, who is pictured wearing a Tigger costume at Cox Farms. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Hannah Rollins, at age three, with her parents. “They have always let me express myself,” said Rollins, who is pictured wearing a Tigger costume at Cox Farms. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

That would definitely explain her hilarious jokes in English class and the hamburger costume she has worn (on multiple occasions) to school.

 

Rollins, posing with sophomore Hope Bossart, in her Halloween costume at school. On spirit days at Mason, Hannah doesn’t hold back on the crazy costumes. She has dressed up as a cow, a Shrek character, a rock-star, Minnie Mouse, a rock, and of course... a hamburger, as well as many other creative ensembles. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Rollins, posing with sophomore Hope Bossart, in her Halloween costume at school. On spirit days at Mason, Hannah doesn’t hold back on the crazy costumes. She has dressed up as a cow, a Shrek character, a rock-star, Minnie Mouse, a rock, and of course… a hamburger, as well as many other creative ensembles. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

I then look around the room and notice how her systematic and organized room is a sharp contrast to my own. I notice the camouflage crocs that Rollins displays through the hallways of Mason are in the corner of the room neatly lined up with her other pairs of shoes.

There is a large calendar hung up next to her desk, with pencil markings on every single day this month. My first thought was, ‘Woah, this girl has a lot going on.’ And I was right.

Rollins is a three-sport athlete, girl-scout, theater lover, and straight A student with a passion for trying new things: starting with football. She played running-back and wide-receiver on the Mason JV football team 8th grade year, and was double-rostered on both JV and varsity her freshman year.

“I think I was able to connect and not feel awkward [with the boys on the team] because I respect everybody’s opinions and when people try to make fun of me I usually am able to turn it around into a joke,” Rollins said.

I couldn’t help but ask, “Did the boys treat you differently?”

One instance in particular stood out to her. “A certain upperclassman on the team asked me out, as a joke in front of all guys… in the moment I thought, ‘Oh, I could just brush this off, or I could turn it back on him…’ I made all the other boys laugh at him for even asking,” Rollins said.

After that they treated her just like any other teammate. And although being the only girl on the team had its ups and downs, she ultimately loved the sport and was glad she did it.

For Rollins, trying new things hasn’t stopped at football. I remember back to a few months ago, when she convinced me to try out for the high school play with her. I told her one day that it was on my bucket list to audition for a play. Never, ever, in a million years did I think I actually would.

Rollins after participating in a mud run in 2014. She has participated in many runs in addition to the other athletic activities she competes in. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Rollins after participating in a mud run in 2014. She has participated in many runs in addition to the other athletic activities she competes in. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

She came to school on the day of the audition with a box for me. It was wrapped in pink and had a bow. I was excited- to say the least. When I opened it, it was a Barbie doll with a broken leg. Rollins said, “Get it? Cause you’re going to break a leg at your audition!”

So I tried out, and she did too. Neither of us made the play but I now have a checked box on my bucket list and a broken Barbie doll on my bureau. I thank Hannah for both those things.

Perhaps something on Rollins’ own bucket list was getting cornrows. The second I mentioned them her face lit up. “I thought I could pull them off,” she said, as she described the process of getting the braids and beads put in while in Cabo, Mexico over spring break 2016.

For her, it’s all about practicality. Getting cornrows was not only fashionable to her, but also an easy hairstyle that required minimal effort.

When Rollins walked into school the Monday after spring break with little white beads jangling from her hair, the initial shock faded as everyone realized, that’s just Hannah being Hannah.

Rollins also happens to be on the varsity girls soccer team, and the cornrows proved to be a little bit of trouble at games. “I tucked the beads into my bun so the refs wouldn’t see,” she laughed.

Though the cornrows are gone, there is no telling what she dreams up next. But one thing is for sure: she has a lot of them. One of which is her dream to be an FBI agent.

Rollins wearing a tie-dye t-shirt that she made. Along with many other dreams, Rollins hopes to one day open a tie-dye clothing company. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

Rollins wearing a tie-dye t-shirt that she made. Along with many other dreams, Rollins hopes to one day open a tie-dye clothing company. (Photo Courtesy of Hannah Rollins)

“I have a little plan for my life. I want to graduate from Mason, I want to go to Tufts University and maybe play D3 soccer there. I want to have a major in cognitive brain sciences and a minor in education, and then after college I want to do two years of the peace corps… and then I want to come back and maybe do some internships before going to the FBI academy,” Hannah said. She also made it clear that she will be opening a tye-die t-shirt business at some point too.

 

It was a mouthful to say the least. But at this point, she’s busy being a normal teenage girl, who just happens to go out of the box when it comes to her wardrobe, hair, and outlook on life. She loves to meet new people and try new things, and Mason is a place where she has been able to do that.  

“I have big dreams and I’m not afraid of going for them,” Rollins concluded with an air of confidence that screams: unstoppable.

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Cornrows and Crocs: Hannah Rollins cannot be stopped