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A Letter of Encouragement to the “Boring” Ones

Dear “Boring” Person,

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve heard the word “boring” used to describe you. If not boring, then maybe anti-social, party-pooper, or immature. Inexperienced. Childish. Alone. And even if no one’s said these things to you, you still feel a little distant from everyone else on Friday nights.

If this is you, you know what I mean. It’s Friday night, and your friends are all drinking, talking about their various hookups and the crazy things they did in high school, not to mention the things they’ve done since getting to university. And you’re sitting there. And when they turn to you as you drink your non-alcoholic beverage of choice, you have nothing to say. You feel like you’ve never done anything of interest in your entire life. You don’t drink, you’ve never had sex, or smoked, or gotten high, or anything. You feel boring. And it feels like your friends are judging you for it.

I’m here to tell you that they’re not. And if they are, it’s not worth changing yourself over it.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s not that easy. The student culture in university seems to be heavily based on drinking and having sex, and other such activities. Everywhere you turn, someone’s talking about it, and you feel utterly left out. There’s a lot of pressure to get in on the scene. And yet, there’s still something inside telling you, “No, not yet,” or maybe even, “No, not ever”. That’s okay. There is no rule saying that you need to do any of these things in order to make the most of your university experience. And you know what else? You’re not alone. You’re just in the quiet minority. There are plenty of people on campus who are just like you—they’re just not as visible. But I promise, they do exist.

Life at university is what you make it. Your choices are going to shape your experience here, and it’s important that none of those choices are made because you’re afraid of what other people will think of you. You have been given an amazing opportunity to start anew in a whole different community, and you have an important choice to make: stick to your guns and be your best and truest self, or step outside of your boundaries and do something that you’re really uncomfortable with. There are plenty of ways for you to have fun without crossing your boundaries—join a club, or a sports team, or the student government, or any number of other things! The possibilities are endless!

Now, I’m not saying that you should never try new things or do things that might scare you, but an important part of caring for yourself means listening to yourself with regards to your personal needs and the lines that you are not willing to cross. If you really don’t feel comfortable drinking or having a one-night stand, or anything along those lines, then listen to yourself. You’ll be a lot happier for it. Living life at your own pace, however slow other people might judge it to be, is important.

Just remember; you are a defined person with an identity all your own, and you have every right to say no to anything you want to. We’re all going to be assigned labels in life, as unpleasant as it is, and “boring” might just be one of them. But who’s to say that that’s a bad thing? If being called boring is the price you have to pay for living your life your own way and at your own pace, then boring is a label you can be proud to have!

Shaelyn Ryan is a first year student at Queen's University, and is a fiction writer, having completed and self published two novels. She would love to answer questions and comments about her articles, writing, or anything at all at [email protected]!
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