Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at App State chapter.

While we all strive for connection, there are some instances where we may not be noticed for our true, authentic self. The way that you behave around your best friend is completely different than the way you behave with the person you just met five seconds ago. We show different versions of ourselves not because those versions aren’t who we are, but because we find it hard to find the perfect balance between authenticity and people-pleasing. 


These versions of ourselves have reminded me of a Masquerade Ball. They are quite pleasant at first until one day, it becomes too draining to take part in the jovial atmosphere. We all want to fit in but at the same time, we are also told to stand out. The question then arises, is it worth wearing a gorgeous mask, decorated with jewels and feathers? Or is it best to go through life with a bare face, surrounded by masquerade-goers? 


Nothing is scarier than being authentic around strangers, which is why having a mask can come in handy. The insecure side of myself will forever believe that having my mask will ensure that I won’t get judged or hurt for being myself. However, the somewhat confident side of myself believes that the mask is a tool to be used just in case being myself goes horribly wrong. I will admit that I remind myself of my mask whenever I meet someone new. It gives me reassurance that I know how to protect myself if something does go wrong. The thing with college is that it proves that you don’t actually need to have that protection because people aren’t as judgemental as you perceive them to be in your head – yes I have that thought every single day, too.


When I started college, I had this immense fear that I wasn’t going to have any friends, spending my years truly focusing on my studies. It seemed like the right move at the time because even the thought of opening up to people filled my body with anxiety. Between joining clubs and having a surprisingly friendly roommate, my anxiety disappeared. I realized that in keeping this new feeling, I didn’t want to keep my metaphorical mask. 


If there is one thing I would like you readers to remember after reading this article, it is that being genuine with others will allow you to find your people who will not be embarrassed by your Monday night “sad girl hours” or your Friday night questions about why the sky is blue and the grass is green. Sometimes, you have to remove your mask, drop your guard, and allow yourself to feel the bliss that comes with the Masquerade.

Erica Hoyer

App State '21

University of South Carolina Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Student