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How “Faking It” Has Single-handedly Changed my life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

Every day I wake up. I turn off my alarm at approximately 7:00AM. I go to my morning babysitting gig, come home, eat breakfast, go to classes, do homework, cook dinner, spend time with friends, go to bed. Repeat this, but for pretty much five days a week give or take. If you thrive off of routine, this might sound absolutely ideal for you. However, often I find myself dreading going to bed every night out of the sheer panic that I’m living in my own personal version of Groundhog’s Day. But every day I get up and I somehow manage to do it again, flawlessly. 

Being a college senior, I’ve constantly been feeling weighed down about the impending “what if’s” of my future. 

What if I don’t graduate with a high enough GPA?

What if I don’t get my dream job next year?

What if I end up living in my dream city, but still feel lonely and isolated?

What if I disappoint my family?

What if I’m settling? 

What if all my friends hate me?

These “what if’s” race through my head like they’re looping elevator music in the background of my mind. They sit with me in class. They’re my lunch date at D’Agostino Cafe. They study with me in Dinand. These constant thoughts remind me of all the ways I’m not good enough. How I don’t measure up. How I belong somewhere else other than Holy Cross. It’s hard to find a time in the day where I’m not criticizing myself about something. But from the outside, you wouldn’t know it. 

The idea of “faking it till you make it” sounds incredibly shallow and misleading. And to some extent, I agree with that statement. But as I’ve adjusted to a life in college, filled with competing expectations, deadlines, and pressures, I’ve learned that sometimes in order to truly be your best, you have to know how to put on your best show. 

I credit this theory to my childhood theater directors. As an ex-musical theater kid (regretfully, I admit), I have learned a thing or two about putting on your best performance. My directors always reminded me of this one rule before we walked on stage for opening night:

“95% of the time, the audience will never know if you’ve make a mistake, if you don’t reveal that you made one in the first place.”

While this theory was very helpful in my musical theater days, this piece of advice actually extends far past the stage. In addition to the self-doubting, racing thoughts in my head, I’ve learned to add this quote into the mix. I remind myself that in life, there are going to be times that I need to simply hold my head up, and put on my best show in order to receive the standing ovation. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling anyone that being vulnerable is wrong. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of bad days (or even weeks!) where I’ve simply wanted to throw in the towel. 

I’ve strutted into club events with tears in my eyes. I’ve called my mom mid-breakdown in the Hogan 2 bathroom. I’ve impulsively bought Cool Beans milkshakes multiple times to provide temporary relief when the ceiling of my life feels like its collapsing inward. 

But I sit. I take a few deep breaths. I tell my thoughts to settle. I remind myself of where I am today, and how I’ve done it: by putting on my best show. By faking the confidence. Reminding myself of the possibility of success. And let me tell you, about 95% of the time, it works. 

Now, I promise I’m not going to get super spiritual with you, but my theory has some backing. As someone who actively uses the theory of manifestation, I firmly believe that whatever energy you put out into the universe, you’re going to get back. In these moments where I don’t know where to turn, or feel like the weight of the world sits on my shoulders, I “fake it”. The more I “pretend,” the more I gather strength. But by doing this, I prove to myself that I truly can do it all, simply because I’m convincing myself that I can. “Faking it” reminds me of all the things I should be proud of. 

I have a beautiful mind. A mind that has read so many amazing books. A mind that has learned so many interesting things. A mind that has planned so many events, led three on-campus clubs, and worked multiple internships. 

I have strong legs instead of large ones. Legs that have carried me to so many incredible places. Legs that have allowed me to play so many games and sports. Legs that have dangled from the roof of my off-campus house that I now live in with my best friends. 

I have a pretty face. Big eyes and round glasses that allow me to experience the beautiful fall foliage that New England falls have to offer. Small, pink lips that curl up in laughter when my friends and I replay the events from the night before. Brown, wavy hair that perfectly matches my honey-colored eyes, as my boyfriend likes to constantly remind me. 

The more I “fake it”, the more these wonderful things about myself truly make sense; the more I’m convinced that I am capable of amazing things. I encourage you — try to “fake it.” Just for a week. Just for a day. Just for an hour. 

Watch what happens, and you might just be amazed. 

Cassie Smith is a current Psychology major with a minor in Rhetoric & Composition at Holy Cross. When she'd not spending her time working for HerCampus, she's catching up with friends, graphic designing on her iPad, or perfectly organizing her Pinterest boards and Spotify playlists.