Undeclared and Proud

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Every time I meet someone new on my college campus, the conversation unfolds a little something like this:

Random Person: “Hi, I’m [fill in the blank]. What’s your name?” Person smiles and acts genuinely happy to have just learned my name, which will most-likely be forgotten within ten minutes.

Me: “I’m Grace, nice to meet you. Where you from?” My voice probably gets higher pitched because I’m trying to sound friendly.

Random Person: Responds cheerfully, “I’m from Chicago, what about you?”

Me: “Id-er-ho, and yes, we’re known for potatoes.” We share a giggle. “What’s your major?”

Random Person: “Oh, I’m majoring in international business with a double minor in economics and accounting. What about you?” Person smiles and stands a little taller.

Me: I return the smile and say confidently, “Oh, I’m undeclared.”

BOOM. Just like that, all life and joy is sucked from the conversation. The person’s facial expression turns to that of pity, and he/she gives a sympathetic (emphasis on the pathetic) smile, saying,

Random Person: “Oh…Well that’s okay, you’ll find something…” Continue reading

New Beginnings: Blessing or Burden?

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If you had asked me two weeks ago what I looked forward to most upon entering college life, I would have told you, “The chance to completely start over and meet new people.” But now? The most difficult part of college life is exactly that: the chance to completely start over and meet new people. Of all the days I spent daydreaming of going off on my own to a foreign place with foreign faces, I never considered just how hard it truly is to make friends. I’ve found myself wondering these past few days, is a new beginning really what I want? Or should I have listened to Daughtry’s catchy version of the cliché, be careful what you wish for? Continue reading

Hating Yourself Isn’t Fashionable

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There my dad stood patiently, at the top of the lush, grassy knoll of our backyard in Washington state, holding it—the beast I feared so greatly: a pink, sparkly bicycle with flowers on the wheels and tassels flowing off the handlebars. Training wheels were nowhere to be seen… Fast forward ten minutes (a lot of angst and fear later) and I felt the exhilarating, flying feeling of riding a bike for the first time. The grin on my face stretched from ear to ear.

I’d like to think that confidence isn’t that different from riding a bike, that it can be learned. There might be fear leading up to it and perhaps even an unwillingness to try, but ultimately you can train yourself to love who you are through practice and patience. Imagine how much wider your grin would be if you could experience that for the first time. Yes, I’d like to think that confidence can be learned, but I haven’t proved it for myself. Yet. Continue reading