• Editorial: My Relatable Creature: Sandbar and Yona

    It's that time again that we pause and reflect on how we relate to these characters we've grown so close to.

    A pony with a gentle heart and a yak full of pride, I think we should be able to find some similarity with these two of the Student 6. Sandbar and Yona share the same school, friend group, class schedule, sociopathic classmate; but they each have characteristics that only they could flesh out in the show.

    Time to relate those to us!
    I must admit I didn’t think I’d find much to relate to. They have great stories, but most of their traits matched those of other characters in the show specifically the mane 6.

    The student 6 are tackling some interesting issues in the series though. While their personalities may resemble that of other characters we’ve met, their situations don’t. So, in an attempt to not repeat too many traits I’ve covered with other relatable posts, I’m only going to point out traits I feel these characters really embody.


    Laid Back

    Maybe it's his surfer attitude, but Sandbar seems to have a very relaxed personality. He's not easily excited and he likes to take things slow.

    In fact, when accused on Hearth Warming he doesn’t retaliate with anger, just with the truth. He's emotionally very stable and his slower reactions give him plenty of time to think about what he wants to do next.

    Even when his friends mock pony history from time to time, Sandbar manages to stay cool and never takes himself too seriously. I'm not personally like this, but I have friends who always seem relaxed. They recover well after scary situations and they are never easily angered or upset. Do you relate?


    Despite the entire school being full of ponies, Sandbar is the most willing to befriend other creatures. He is so open to others; he was never put off by the fact that his new friends weren't from Equestria. He immediately accepted them and was willing to help them in any way he could.

    He reminds his friends to respect Equestrian heroes, to not harsh other’s heritage, and is open to skipping class in the pursuit of protecting friendships.

    I've always like to get to know people before I judge them, not just take other’s words for it. Certainly plenty of us at least want to relate to this quality and we’re willing to put aside bias and hearsay to give others a chance to express themselves. Relate to Sandbar, don’t judge!

    Emotionally Truthful

    Sandbars one of those ponies who knows how he feels and isn't ashamed of it. He’s willing to take risks as long as it’s in line with his true feelings. It’s refreshing to have a character whose motives don’t have to be interpreted all the time.

    I’m sure some of you relate to being authentic with your feelings in front of others . . . right? While you may not be asking someone to the school dance, you’d have no trouble letting someone know you like them or value their friendship.


    File:Sandbar looking at his little sapling S9E3.png

    Many people find the descriptor ‘simple’ to be an insult, but I'd like to argue that this is one of Sandbar's greatest strengths. He can take the everyday mundane and be content in it. Many of us struggle daily with being happy with what we have or where we are in life, but Sandbar seems to be able to appreciate all the small details in his life.

    He doesn’t need something grandiose.

    A Hearth Warming Miracle for me would be a million dollars, but my doll not burning is a close 9,567,892nd place. 
    I think a lot of people in life are seeking out grand adventures and lavish luxuries, it's easy to forget that some of our happiest moments are the times sitting on the front porch with a good friend sipping some iced tea. Sandbar appreciates his daily blessings and there are people who relate to that greatly.


    Heritage and Pride

    I'm pretty sure I don't have to say that Yona takes great pride in being a yak. Yaks are the best at everything and at every opportunity she makes sure the world knows it.

    While not everyone has great patriotism, I'm sure many of us can relate to taking pride in the place we call home.

    We enjoy knowing the achievements of our ancestors and families. Yona is relatable to anyone who looks at their culture and sees who their society has become a part of who they are. Even as bronies we can take pride in our pony community and find identity in it. Plus yaks really are the best Yona has a lot to be proud of.


    Yona: Yona's gonna level with ya; Yona hate school, but Yona thinks yous alright.
    Have you noticed that Yona is always quick to remind her group of friends that she can do anything so long as they are there? She is a natural encourager. It's like nothing too traumatic can happen that her friendships can’t overcome.

    When we have a strong support system it's so easy for us to handle our daily struggles. Yona personifies this and it's very relatable to many. I hope all of you have a support system like her and that the company you keep encourages you to pursue every dream and goal you have. If not, perhaps you can reevaluate your friend group and find more encouraging circles to be in.

    Self-conscious and An Odd-ball

    Did I mention how proud Yona was? Well, here’s the flip side. Proud individuals can have moments of insecurity too.

    If I did have something I strongly related to in this yak it would be her desire to act “normal.” In the episode She’s All Yak, Yona feels like she must act like a pony in order to be the best “ friend” of Sandbar.

    Be honest with yourself, haven't you ever had a moment where you really just wanted to be like everybody else?

    It’s not because you don’t love everything that makes you you, it that you recognize that not everyone else appreciates your uniqueness. Yona loves being a yak, but yak culture isn’t always esteemed in Ponyville.

    I think it’s just part of the human condition that all of us feel like oddballs every once in a while. Those of us with varying backgrounds, cultures, accents, behaviors, beliefs, or abilities tend to get this feeling more often than not. Even among friends who love us, we strive to be and act in a way that’s more normalized.

    Yona’s actions are never meant to be hurtful or insulting, but they reflect her rather different culture and she is often left in a position of constantly apologizing for who she is.

    If you know how it feels to be the person in the room that everyone (even when they don’t mind) has to adjust to, you relate to Yona. This is such a potent part of Yona that few other characters in the show could display so well.

    That’s it?

    Yona and Sandbar are both great characters for such different reasons.

    If you feel a kinship for Sandbar you understand that life isn’t a race. You allow those around you to be themselves without fear of judgment or a need to live up to grand expectations. You enjoy being you and you’re unapologetic about your simplicity.

    If Yona, you know who you are and you're proud of it. You have your struggles, but really it’s just the world around you that’s still adjusting. Remember the people that love you and you’ll find there is plenty of room in this world for you to be you.