#SelfCare: Cutting My Own Hair Was the Most Therapeutic Thing I've Ever Done

Impulsive decisions are a key part of the college first-year brand, stereotypically in the form of a nose ring or a tattoo. For me, it was spontaneously cutting my own hair in my suite bathroom at 8:30 on a Monday night (I’ve also gotten a tattoo, but that’s a story for another time).

Let me set the scene for you. It’s Monday, Sept. 9, around 8 p.m. I’m studying for my public relations exam. Suddenly, I’m struck by an alarming realization: I have no idea what I want to do with my life.

We’ve all been there, but I was especially going through it that night.

I’ve wanted to cut my own hair, ever since I watched a couple of girls on YouTube do it, and that night seemed as good a time as any to try. Thus, I promptly stood up from my desk and announced to my roommate that I was going to cut my hair.

I chopped off about three inches of my hair with a pair of scissors that were definitely not meant to be used on hair in my suite bathroom. You know, as one does when in the grips of an existential crisis. 

Now, some of you may be thinking that this was a terrible choice, and, objectively, you’re probably right. But, honestly, it’s a choice I’m glad I made.

There are so many things that I’ve always wanted to try, but, for some reason, I never have. However, ever since I arrived at college, I've just started doing those things.

For years, I’ve been interested in law. I never thought about making it a career path because, for some reason, I assumed it was something I couldn’t achieve. One day, I was sitting in the library when I thought “huh, I could do that” and made an appointment with a pre-law advisor.

I’ve always thought dance was cool, but I never really thought it was something I could do myself. Recently, I asked myself “why not?” and signed up for an on-campus dance club. Now, I’ll be performing with them this semester.

When I saw flyers for Her Campus posted around campus, I wanted to apply, so I did!

It’s like a switch has been flipped in my head. At first, I didn’t understand why I was suddenly going for all of these things. Then, I realized that there was never any real reason I couldn’t do any of those things before. The only thing holding me back was myself.

Self-care is being spontaneous, putting yourself out there and trying new things. Yes, maybe cutting my own hair was not my brightest idea, but what’s the real harm in it? It’s just hair; it’ll grow back. Plus, cutting my own hair helped solidify that there’s nothing holding me back from trying new things anymore.

My suitemate and my roommate watched me cut my hair, and they were incredibly supportive the whole time. Afterward, a friend came over to help my roommate tidy up the cut for me, until I was happy with it. As a first-year, I was worried about not being able to make friends when I got to college. It sounds strange, but the experience of cutting my own hair also made me realize how grateful I am for the amazing friends I’ve made.

I had low expectations for how my hair was going to look, but I love my new haircut, and that’s all thanks to my friends.

Go try something spontaneous. Get that piercing. Try that new food. Ask out that cute person in your lecture that you’ve been admiring from afar. Cutting my own hair in my suite bathroom with my friends at 8:30 on a Monday night is an experience I’ll always remember. At the very least, doing something spontaneous will give you a good story to tell.