“My name is Brandon Hieronimus, but people call me Hippo. All my life people have never been able to pronounce my last name, and I got tired of having to correct them every time. Every teacher in school knew me simply as Brandon H but not Brandon Hieronimus because they didn’t want to even try to pronounce it. This got old because I didn’t want to be known as just Brandon H, because that wasn’t my name. In 7th grade, my friend and I were goofing around, playing basketball until suddenly we heard someone loudly scream “HIPPO”. We looked around and it was our other friend Matt. Being young 7th grade guys we laughed at the joke because my last name reminded Matt of a hippo and it stuck ever since. This was my new name that every one called me. Teachers, my parents, all my family members, and even my coworkers know me as Hippo. I introduce myself as Hippo to every new person I meet. It’s so natural that many people forget my name is Brandon, I guess I even forget sometimes. The day I turned 18, I went and got this tattoo of a hippo on my arm and I don’t regret a single part of it. To me, it symbolizes my childhood and who I am as a person. It’s something that I will always carry along with me as well as the nickname Hippo. It is something that I take pride in because who wouldn’t want to carry around their childhood on the inside of their arm? My advice for people is to do what makes you happy. Nobody can take away your dignity, so be what you want to be, not what others want you to be.
Interviewer: Lauren Michels