Being Unapologetically You

At University, and Queen’s especially, it can be very easy to blend in. Universities generally, are way larger than any high school that most of us went to, and often at even at university there is a certain “uniform” that can be seen. When I came into First Year university, all I wanted was to fit in. My middle school and early high school years were plagued with me always being “different” than all the other girls, and when I got to university I felt like it was finally my time to be able to be in the “in” crowd. During the first couple years of university, I felt as if I had achieved this goal. I made friends with a bunch of girls, I talked to guys, I went out and partied, I did everything I thought I wanted to do in order to be happy. However, as I came into my third year, I felt this sense of loneliness. I felt held back, like there was parts of my personality that I had never really let shine through, except with a few select people. 

I had spent so much time trying to fit in at university, that I lost a piece of myself. Therefore, over the summer after my third year, I decided that I wanted to try and find what made me me, and run with it. I reached out to people from my high school that I had never really been friends with and tried to make an effort to get to know them. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by doing group activities and not worrying as much about if other people thought I was “cool” and instead just being unapologetically myself. To my surprise, it worked. I created strong bonds with people who I had never even thought of being close with in high school and I felt like I blossomed into the person I had always truly wanted to be. People liked my personality just as is, and it made me realize that I had been doing things wrong throughout my whole time at university. 

Therefore, when I came back to university, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t hold myself back for anyone else any longer. I felt confident, for one of the first times in my life, and I can see the changes in my daily activities. I don’t mind talking to random people and asking how their day is going. I feel confident in being my unapologetic self, with people I’ve known forever and people I’ve just met. Having this confidence in myself, has also made me find appreciation and love for the people around me. I love being around people who accept me for me, not just the “me” that I used to put on. I love finding the individuality in others because to me, that is what makes them so special. 

The message that I want to get across here is don’t hold yourself back. Do things that you love, even if other people think it’s weird. Get to know people you may have never before, you’d be surprised how much you may have in common. Be unapologetically you, and the people who are meant to be in your life will stick around, and you may be surprised how much happier you are just from making this small change.