Growing Up 101—Confidence is Key!

In the wise words of Demi Lovato, “What’s wrong with being confident?” My answer: nothing. Actually, the minute I found my own voice and how to use it, I became exponentially happier, healthier, and all-around a better person.

Confidence manifests itself and comes about in so many different ways. But we all know what it looks like on a person strolling down the street— someone standing tall whose aura just screams MY LIFE IS PUT TOGETHER! 

Is it though?

From my experience, just because they look put together doesn’t mean their life is actually put together. However, it does take confidence to be happy – even if your life isn’t going exactly as planned. 

I always felt like I had confidence and didn’t let others’ opinions affect my life too much. However, it wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year of college that I truly felt confident in my own skin. I’m not even talking about just physical appearance, I’m talking mentally and emotionally, I felt confident in who I was. 

How the hell did I get there, you may ask? Looking back at my journey, it was actually more of a step-by-step process than I would’ve thought. 

I had to realize all the pressure I was putting on myself was weighing my happiness down and it was visible to the outside world – I would get super quiet and irritated by the most minuscule things and I was never smiling just to smile. 

I started to take noticeable steps to start proving to myself that I was happy and confident as Delanie. My first step was exercising. I started running and going to the gym with my roommate to ease the stress of classes. I was moving around and the flow of endorphins really did help me feel stronger – physically and mentally. 

I then started to double down on my skincare routine and eating habits. You are what you eat and your skin shows it. I always presented myself in a neat manner, I would dress nicely for class, wear makeup, have my hair done, and I always had my nails done because that’s what I thought made me feel confident. In actuality, I was trying to attain a feeling that was so much more than those superficial things. 

Over the summer I promised myself that I wouldn’t let the small friend drama bring my spirits down (I actually think I succeeded fairly well with this one). I worked on myself and my professional growth. I decided to apply to go abroad for the spring semester and I continued running, eating healthy, and making meaningful connections with people who I may have pushed to the side in the past. 

Coming back for the fall semester, I was ready to take on the world. I wasn’t homesick, I had a great group of friends, and I was doing a lot of extracurricular activities. Two years ago, the Delanie I was never would’ve been able to keep up with the Delanie I am now. 

With a set wake up time and a morning routine that keeps me active and smiling, I am able to start my day off with a positive mindset even though my classes are tough and my time management is less than perfect. 

The key to feeling independent is much different than being independent. For me, being independent entailed moving out of my childhood home. Feeling independent was a two-year journey learning about myself and my unhealthy habits. My confidence became apparent to the people around me and I have also started to surround myself with people who are just as, if not more, confident than I am. 

I’m only 20, and this isn’t the end of my journey. If anything, this is the beginning of my journey, and right now I feel as if I have the whole thing figured out (which is bound to change) but for now, I can walk down Comm. Ave confidently, knowing that I am happy with myself and with the choices I’ve made thus far! 

 

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