Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Power of Being Brave and Showing Up for Yourself

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

This summer I challenged myself to get on a plane, fly 13 hours across the Atlantic Ocean, and live in a new part of the world with one of my friends. Suddenly, my fear of flying became a lot more terrifying as I walked onto the runway for the first time since COVID hit. Since committing to this challenge, I had been mentally preparing for this moment. I was extremely aware of the tight space I was sitting in, next to a complete stranger about to embark on an adventure I knew nothing about. My heart was beating, my hands were sweating, and my legs were shaking. It was obvious to anyone around me that I was freaking out. 

This was a defining moment for me. This was the moment in which I had no choice but to be brave. I had no choice but to stay in my seat and put a smile on my face. Living close to home while at school always gave me the option to activate my flight reflex to the point where I don’t have to put myself in uncomfortable situations, but not this time. I wasn’t asking myself to be fearless, because that is an impossible feat. I was asking myself to be brave.

I carried this motto with me throughout my entire study abroad experience. In my low moments and times of anxiety, I reminded myself how powerful I was when I was brave. I tried new foods, activities and conquered a lot of fears by pushing myself to be brave in those moments. For the first time ever, I was not restricting myself out of fear. I was living my life and I felt powerful. 

This does not mean that I didn’t struggle. I had moments of doubt, anxiety, and fear all the time. It was one of the most challenging time periods I have been through. I had days when I was nervous to leave my apartment and I had nights when I couldn’t fall asleep. Improvement and self-growth are extremely challenging and take time. It comes down to shifting your mindset and focusing on what steps will take you to the next level. For me, getting myself on that plane changed everything. I came home from my study abroad program as a whole new person in the best way. Knowing that I had the ability to conquer my fears across the world made it easier for me to do the same back home.

I took what I learned and applied it to my summer internship, constantly speaking up with my ideas and not being afraid to make my presence known in meetings and in the workplace. I am continuing to carry my brave energy with me throughout my senior year of college. I am taking four classes, serving as president of a club, and working two jobs. I continue to be brave, not fearless. As a college student, especially one who’s about to enter the work world, being scared is normal. It’s about how I show up for myself that matters, and about the uncomfortable positions I put myself in to become the best version of myself. 

Can’t get enough of HC UMass Amherst? Be sure to follow us on Instagram, listen to us on Spotify, like us on Facebook, and read our latest Tweets!

Haley LaKind

U Mass Amherst '23

Haley LaKind is a junior Communication and Journalism double major on the Public Relations Track. She enjoys writing biweekly articles for Her Campus as well as running the chapter instagram page @hcumassamherst. Her hobbies include exercise, travel, journaling, and spending time with friends and family. At UMass she is also involved with UMass CHAARG and the Public Relations Club.