It’s 6 PM and 73 degrees on East campus. Late afternoon sunlight pours in through the window and softly warms my bare skin. I occasionally reach for a pinch of Honey Bunches of Oats from the bowl next to me as a ridiculously good playlist* softly plays in background.
It’s Q&A weather, baby.
*Courtesy of the master of musical taste, Christopher Barry.
All questions submitted on ask.fm/cathincollege. Submit your own today!
Q: So I know you aren’t a science major, but you seem like the kind of person who focuses on herself. I feel like when I compare myself to other students who are trying to get into Med school, I just feel really crappy. It makes me feel all anxious and I just freak myself out. How do you avoid this?
A: Allow me to start of by saying that I don’t think this is an issue limited to just Premed students. Fuzzies, techies, boys, girls, undergrads, grad students, non-students, and Canadians alike all share the (annoying) human tendency to compare themselves to others– myself included. We stack ourselves up against each other for every possible variable, it seems. Age, beauty, intelligence, popularity… the list goes on and on.
But I think you hit it right on the head, Dear Reader. The way to overcome the crappy feeling you get from making these comparisons is to learn how to focus on yourself. To successfully do this, you’ll need to do two things.
- Learn to respect what others got goin’ on. You gotta learn how to look at what your competition is doing, nod politely, and sincerely say, “You do you, dude. That’s awesome. Props.” This can be hard for those of us who self-describe as “competitive” people, but the truth is that when you learn how to appreciate what others around you are doing differently than you, you learn how to appreciate the uniqueness of yourself.
- Learn to be confident in what you got goin’ on. Bruh. You got this. You are a goddamn superstar. I don’t care if you have to stand in front of the mirror and say it out loud to believe it. Do whatever it takes to realize that you got your own special thing that nobody can replicate. YOU ARE FIRSTNAME LASTNAME. Give yourself a pep talk. Do what you’re good at. High five yourself. And if you’re really struggling with this whole self-confidence thing in the beginning, fake it. Seriously. Because nobody around you will know you’re faking it, but they will start picking up on your new energy and giving you the respect your fake confidence demands. Then you’ll pick up on all this respect and be like “Wow, people really do respect me– I AM AWESOME.” BAM. guess what just happened? You just got confident for real. Boo yah.
When you adopt these two ways of thinking into the core of your mentality, I promise you’ll be unstoppable. You’ll be able to look around at all the other wonderful premeds and think, “Dang, these guys are good. And that’s cool. But I’m good, too. And I don’t need to worry about them, because I got my own thing goin’ on, and I can’t change what they’re doing, but I can change what I’m doing.” Then you can take all that crappy anxious energy and transform it into real, productive actions.
Hope that helps!
Q: Did you rush/if you didn’t, why not??
A: Short answer: No; Because it wasn’t for me. Long answer: No; Because…
Coming into college, I never planned on getting involved with Greek life. Especially during high school, it was not something I imagined myself doing in college, and to be honest I think I was largely influenced by the negative– and often inaccurate– stereotypes of sorority life. When spring quarter on The Farm rolled around and all of the girls in my dorm started registering for rush, I certainly felt the pressure to reconsider. I was on the fence about it for a long time, mainly because I had heard from certain upperclassmen that joining a sorority was the only way to avoid the infamous “sophomore slump.” As a generally social person, I also found the idea of meeting a lot of new people very appealing.
However, I ended up deciding to not rush because, quite simply, I didn’t think it would add to my college experience. I did not think it would make me any happier than I already am. (Which is already pretty freaking happy.) THAT ALL BEING SAID, I have an equal amount of respect for students involved in Greek life and students who are unaffiliated like myself. (Honestly, I wish other people felt/acted the same.) To each their own; At one point in time I could have gone either way, so who would I be to judge?
Q: What do you do when you don’t feel confident about yourself? whether it be academically, physically or any other ways. btw love the blog i love how you are very real in them!
A: First off, thhahananankkkkssss:)<3
Oof. Good question, DR. I pride myself on being an overall self-assured person, but surely there are times when that confidence falls short. I guess in my case when that does happen, it’s in the “physical” realm you mentioned…
The first thing I do is I remove any influences from my environment that may be contributing to my declining level of self-confidence. In the past, this has meant unfollowing “fitspo” (short for fitness inspiration) Instagram accounts whom I had once followed for the occasional work-out videos, but would too often post images of fitness models with perfectly flat abs that I could tell were beginning to have harmful effects on my body image. If you can’t see what’s making you feel crappy, it can’t make you feel crappy, right?
Next, and I think this maybe the most important step, would be to consciously fight the annoying negative voice in your head telling you you’re anything short of magnificent by creating another voice that consistently answers back, “NO. I’m beautiful just the way I am and don’t need to compare myself to anybody else to feel happy.” I’m serious about this one. The times when I look in the mirror and start rapid-fire analyzing all my imperfections, I’ve actually stepped back, taken a breath and thought to myself: “This is my body. It’s not going to look like anybody else’s, and that’s more than just okay– It’s perfect.”
DON’T WORRY BE CONFIDENT YOU’RE A ROCKSTAR MOVING ON
Q: what’s your favorite word
Q: Who would you marry from your frosh dorm
A: Several people: Joey Valery, Allan Ndovu, Conner Smith, Colton Hock… and that’s just my floor.
Q: Do you feel that affirmative action helped you get into a better college?
A: Not really. I’m not really enough of any one thing to be that impressive…
WELP. That was fun.
Let me know if you liked this Q&A style post… I’d be happy to do more like it in the future si vous voulez 🙂 Hit me up: Click me to enter an alternate universe.
All the best and none of the worst,
P.S. Low key thank you to all the DRs who share their compliments on the ask.fm page! You guys brighten my days 😀