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Am I Boring? The Chronicles of An “Old Soul”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Growing up, I was the archetype of a nerd. I clung to my books and notebooks in class and would spend breaks scribbling away stories in my notebook. I never felt like I was missing out on social time with classmates or that I was weird. I loved writing, I loved words, I loved being with myself.

It was when I moved to the States that I became hyperaware of my unconventional interests. I looked like the kid people would bully in movies and I needed to do everything in my power to overcome it.

I’ve spent the last five-six years making sure I didn’t look the part. I got contacts as soon as I could. I shed the weight off (although in an unhealthy way). I made an active effort to always look my best.

As for my interests? I never fully shed those away but muted them a little more. I didn’t walk around with a notebook that I scribbled stories in. I waited till I was home to do that. Still, pop culture references were often lost to me. Try as I might, I still felt my introverted self had no place in extroverted American culture.

Whenever someone asked me to describe myself in one word, my mind would always scream “boring.”

And that’s what it was, wasn’t it? I didn’t listen to mainstream music. I didn’t have time to watch TV shows. I knew absolutely nothing about meme culture. I loved history and politics more than anything.

But most teenagers don’t really want to have a heated discussion on the current trajectory of India after the new prime minister came into power.

Everyone said I was an “old soul.” Which again felt like a soft blow to tell me I had the interests of a grandma.

Still, I somehow made it through high school with great (more or less) friends and to my surprise a pretty successful relationship too.

In college, however, I had an identity crisis all over again. I tried going out and hated it. I struggled holding conversations with others. I realized the gap between common interests with others worsened. I stopped writing too, and no longer had the comfort of my words.

I wish I had this grand story to insert here right now. Some magical way in which I attained self-discovery nirvana.

But frankly I don’t.

I’ve spent a lot of time alone my sophomore year: in a literal and metaphoric sense. I could no longer hide behind my physical appearance because of health conditions that led to weight gain and issues with my eyes that prevented me from wearing contacts (Yes I am a medical anomaly but that’s for another time). It forced me to focus on who I am more than how I look.

I’ve realized that sometimes my interests can be very basic. I am a caffeine addict, I love listening to pop music, I love reading and watching romance and I have an unhealthy obsession with sweaters.

But you can also find me listening to one of 60 oddly specific Spotify playlists. I enjoy entertainment and educational podcasts. I consider oatmeal to be a separate food group. I sometimes slip into a thick Indian or (horrible) British accent when I’m tired or nervous. I can be pretty fun when you put me in the middle of a Bollywood mosh pit.

From an outsider’s perspective, I may have devolved physically but with that has come so much unseen mental progress. I am an old soul. I am not the most energetic person out there. I certainly do not have cool interests like line dancing or astrophysics. Maybe I am just plain boring and basic.

But for the right people I’ve learned,

All that matters is that I have heart.

And really, what more could you want?

Anisya Nair has lived in three different states, learned three languages, and mastered three different dance forms. Outside of this strange affinity for the number three, she is a second year finance major and accounting minor at the University of Texas at Austin. In her free time, she enjoys curating oddly specific Spotify playlists, exploring new eateries, working out, watching rom-coms and scrolling through Pinterest.