After starting freshman year and then going through a bad breakup, I realized in the end all I have is myself. Before that time, I felt so dependent on the thought that having a significant other was a vital part of happiness. But, being alone is what helped me gain the confidence to know that all I really need is myself. If I couldn’t learn to respect and love myself, then who else would?
Women of all ages need to know that they are strong enough to do anything. There is nothing wrong with having a significant other, but make sure you respect and love yourself first. Guys come and go, and learning that you are empowered enough to be happy either be with someone or by yourself shows that you are an independent woman. I hope that someone reads this and can relate to my frustrations and make sure to follow these two steps, as a woman who deserves respect.
1. Never feel ashamed to tell someone that they are making you feel uncomfortable
Starting freshman year was a large culture shock. A new environment raises many questions of who you want to be and how your reputation should evolve in this new world. In my opinion, you should want to build your credibility through your own self worth. Shine on and show the world! Specifically with night life and going out, at first I thought it was normal for guys to cat-call me and make me feel like an object. In retrospect as a junior, it’s absurd looking back to a time that I felt this was a normal way for guys in college to act. We as WOMEN need to know that together as one we contain self-respecting morals that we hold high. Hypothetically, for example, if some guy grabs you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn’t shy away from telling them that it’s NOT OKAY. If you lose your chance to stand up for yourself, you lose all credibility of showing someone that you respect yourself. It can be so hard at first, especially if you don’t realize it like I didn’t. If your friends are disrespecting you and can’t understand why you stand up to them, then you need to start hanging out with people who truly respect you as a person.
2. Help a girl out
I have seen countless times when boys will approach or touch girls inappropriately. Don’t be afraid to say, “HEY, can you stop? That’s super disrespectful!” With that being said, don’t be touching guys in ways that make them feel uncomfortable too! I will repeatedly say this because I know many of us don’t want to cause a scene, but to me it’s not causing a scene but rather, sending out a message. This message as a feminist writer is the equality of both genders and the love and respect for all people!