A Be-You-Tiful Evolution: The College Years

Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinion of the author, and that alone. This article does not reflect the opinion of Her Campus U Wyoming as an organization on campus or Her Campus Media.

 

I’ll admit, I was a party girl once. I was excited to go out every weekend, put on my hottest outfit, and talk to all the boys at the house parties and was elated to be the *center* of attention. It was fun to go out. It was fun to get drunk. It was fun to get attention. But, this year, college hasn’t been that for me. I’ve taken on leadership positions, I’ve gotten into a serious relationship, and I’ve, whether I’ve wanted to or not, grown up. I don’t like going out and getting drunk anymore. I don’t like staying up until late hours of the night wearing some outfit that’s way too tight and having to get a ride home. Through the growing pains of this year though, I’ve realized something...that’s not a bad thing. This is a part of life and I’m here to tell all of you that feel this way, don’t ever apologize for feeling this way. Growing up is a part of college and if you do it before your friends do, don’t stress. Here are the realizations I’ve had from maturing past my age in college…

Don’t ever apologize for not being a “party girl”  

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve worried about upsetting people I used to be friends with or feeling guilty that I never see the people I used to anymore. Don’t let that get to you. You are growing and maturing. It might be scary, but everyone has to do it sometime, and the people that don’t we’ll be the people saying, “I wish I never left college” years down the road. You want more for yourself than that, so don’t ever apologize for growing into the person you’re meant to be.

If people want to drag you back down, cut them out of your life

I don’t have enough fingers and toes for the amount of people I don’t talk to anymore that I was friends with last year. If anyone tries to make you feel bad for improving and growing, get rid of them. The people that have stuck with me this year and have embraced my boyfriend with open arms are the ones that will be my friends for the rest of my life. I’m confident in that. The people who want you to go back to being a party girl aren’t the people who will root you on in the long run anyway.

You aren’t “condescending,” you’re doing what’s best for you

So many times I’ve heard that word and all I can think is, ‘if I try to explain myself, I’ll just sound more condescending.’ I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and wisdom this last year and I’m not going to pretend like I’m stupid anymore. I have a voice and can back up my opinions. I do my research. You are broadening your horizons and becoming an informed citizen, don’t apologize for not giving into the hype of “failing your classes” or “hating your major.” Own your successes, don’t hide them because you feel like you’ll upset someone.

If people think you think you’re better than them, it’s probably because they have insecurities of their own

I will never be able to say this enough. You know how your mom told you that the bullies do this because they don’t like themselves? That’s 1000% true. People who misconstrue you celebrating your success for you gloating obviously don’t feel comfortable in their lives at that moment. Be sensitive to those people, but don’t ever apologize or feel like you have to hide your success and growth. You’re growing and maturing, maybe you’re the reality check they need.

If seniors or people older than you start to be mean to you, it’s because they don’t like having competition

As a junior, you would not believe the looks and discontent I’ve gotten from people older than me that knew me as a party girl and see me now. They just flat out don’t understand how someone younger than them can thrive and mature before they do. Those people suck, and don’t waste your time worrying about them. I’ve had way more people older than me celebrate and cheer me on. Those that understand the process of maturing and becoming an adult in college will be so happy and will help you with anything. Don’t ever be afraid to put those other people in their place. Don’t ever settle for disrespect or rudeness, that’s not what you deserve.

Above all, go with your gut. It’s what got you here.

If you made this change willingly and have grown into a strong young woman, go with it. Don’t be afraid to command respect, or be a girl boss. Your co-workers and employers are going to thrive with you one day. One day, you’re going to have to make time for your college friends, but your co-workers and people in your company are the ones that are going to be the people you’re around 24/7. They’ll be #blessed to have you. You’re strong. You’re powerful. You’re knowledgeable. Don’t back down and don’t settle for less. If you got this far, keep going. Everyone will catch up eventually.