Finding My Voice

When I reminisce about my past, I can identify with the girl I used to be. I can remember my feelings, my friends, the events going on in my life, but I can't say that I connect with that person anymore.

Its normal to change after high school, I am not writing to tell you how high school was this god awful, prison like place where individuality went to die. I can't say that I necessarily had a “bad” high school experience either, if anything it was overtly normal. The struggles I faced in high school were mostly internal.  I wasn't sure of myself: I second guessed every thing that came out of my mouth, I never felt smart or witty, I never felt like I was good enough to do anything. The biggest struggle I faced in high school was that I had big dreams of becoming this powerful, confident and accomplished woman, but I did not feel capable enough to do it.  

Flash forward to my first year of college.  I was still shy, unsure of myself and never spoke up for what I thought was right, or what I wanted because I was so sure that no one wanted to hear it.  Over the course of my first semester I experienced a paradox...I became more confident, but I still couldn't find what I wanted more than anything: my voice.  I was getting good grades, losing weight, getting involved, but I still felt small and I could not pinpoint why? I was being the person I wasn't in highschool and getting involved, but I wasn't the person I wanted to be yet.  

Second semester started and it began like the first.  I was still my old self, but this is when things started to change.  I was in a toxic friendship that I slowly, but surely started to become aggravated with. I began speaking up for myself if I ever felt belittled or treated in a way I didn't want to be treated and this was the catalyst in my life that started laying the groundwork for the person I am today.

Sophomore year was a major turning point for me.  That summer between freshman and sophomore year was the best I ever had. I met this guy who made me extraordinarily happy and supported everything I did and made new friends who I spent all summer exploring with. The next fall I joined a sorority and finally felt like I was surrounded with the girls that wanted to support me instead of bringing me down; I finally felt like I had found a fit. I ended my toxic friendship and from there everything just fell into place.

Now, I am NOT saying that a boy gave me confidence, nor is this an article to tell you to “Go Greek!” Neither gave me my voice, but the experiences I had did.  The experiences I had with my boyfriend were never negative, he allowed me to see the confidence I always possessed but never let out just by being supportive. The girls I am surrounded by in my sorority make me happy and always encourage me to do, or say, the things I never thought I could.  I give these experiences a lot of credit, but what it comes down to is that I am the one who deserves the most. I am the one who sparked change in my life because I was fed up with the way I lived my life before, trying to make everyone else happy or comfortable when I didnt allow myself to enjoy that courtesy. Now I realize that I deserve to be heard and that my voice counts, that I will never get what I want without speaking up and saying it.  

Ever since I found my voice, I noticed that people see me as a leader and that has not only changed my academic outlook, but my outlook on where I want my career to go.  Finding my voice ultimately led to finding my inner confidence which changed everything for me. I know how hard it is to find your confidence. I have struggled with it for my entire life thus far, but I encourage everyone, especially young girls to realize that we all possess the ability to be a powerhouse. It may take time, but in the end it's completely worth it.

 

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