Keep Moving Forward

Learning Through the Struggles

Moving from one house to another is stressful enough to make someone pull their hair out. Packing clothes, filling boxes and loading it all into a moving truck is a frustrating task, even more frustrating with hair that is actually falling out.

 Sixteen-year-old Sophia Tomlin has been in 16 out of the 50 states and lived in three of them. She lived in Alabama until she was 12, in Wisconsin until she was 14 and then moved to Indiana. Even though Sophia was moving around the country her alopecia followed her the whole time. 

“I started losing small patches of hair around second grade and progressively lost more throughout my middle school years. I usually could hide it by styling my hair in different ways but by sixth-grade I couldn’t hide it anymore,” Tomlin said. 

When Tomlin started losing the majority of her hair, her family moved to a small town in Wisconsin with a population of at least 1000. She decided to be homeschooled in the first quarter of her sixth-grade year and returned to school after. 

The start of her going back to school leaves her with the memory of her teacher calling her to the front of the room and saying, “Tell the class why you missed the first quarter of sixth-grade.” 

During this time in Wisconsin, she received steroid injections for her hair to grow back. By the time she moved to Indiana, and started high school at Hamilton Southeastern, where she is now a Junior,  she had new hair and a new outlook. 

“Once I moved to Indiana I learned to not care as much about appearances and to not judge other people by their appearance,” Tomlin said.

Sophia Tomlin is currently a junior from Hamilton Southeastern. She is passing through the Sample Gates at Indiana University. Tomlin believes that traveling affects her by, ” allowing me to see the differences in people and in America alone. I am grateful that I have gotten to see as much as I have at my age.”