Who am I?
The question had been circling my mind since last week when an interviewer asked me the following: “Tell me about yourself.”
It seemed simple enough, but, as her urging eyes stared into my panicked ones, my mind raced to find an answer.
I knew what I could say: public relations major, twin, friendly except when hungry. My friends would say that I’m outgoing or nice or “stoopid” (thanks, Ashley). The interviewer? Well, to her, I’m just a name on a paper that she can’t even pronounce. To my mom, I’m a nice Russian girl who doesn’t call her enough. And to my boyfriend, well, nothing because he doesn’t exist. And to my social media followers, I’m probably a slightly try-hard, not-nearly-there Insta influencer.
I knew all of these answers existed, but I knew that none of them were mine. And that’s when it hit me: I didn’t know who I was on my terms.
This question needed an answer, so I did as any college-educated, research-savvy intellectual would do, and Googled “Who am I? quiz.” I came across The VisualDNA, a website that, fittingly, is supposed to determine who you are by asking questions like, “How would you make the most of a morning off?”
For the record, I spent a significant amount of time debating whether to lie and pick jogging picture or — let’s be real — admit that I sleep in like any other sleep-deprived, exhausted college student. (I decided that being a liar was not a great start to finding my identity.)
After another 15 this-or-that questions, the answer was there in front of me: “You’re the Dude?”
THAT was the precious answer to my identity crisis? Well, identity thieves, now’s your perfect chance to come after me, it’s not often you get a dude.
The quiz labeled me as an emotionally reactive, impulsive, introverted and indulgent person. As a person that plans her days in 10-minute slots and has a three-hour monologue over a cookie argument, I had to disagree.
Dude, the answer was right in front of me, but the answer was wrong.
What I learned
A quiz on the Internet will not accurately reveal life’s truths.
I’m not a laid-back drifter, emotionally reactive or any of the other things the quiz declared.
In a totally backwards, unintentional way, the quiz helped me figure out who I am by showing me who I’m not.
So, who am I? Well, Ashley wasn’t wrong, I’m a stoopid. But I’m also an extroverted, rational and agreeable person. I don’t like fighting with friends over cookies, making irrational decisions or yelling at drivers (even though some Gainesville drivers deserve it).
I hate being bored, and I love board games and slow jams that make everyone else want to fall asleep. I’m hard on myself for mistakes, and I don’t celebrate my successes enough. I’m allergic to cats, but I still pet them because I can’t resist the meows.
Oh, and most importantly, I’m an avid consumer of way too much tea and ice cream.
If I told the interviewer these things, I’m highly doubtful she would’ve given me the job. But I have come to realize that our identities can’t be answered in a single, panicked answer. We’re constantly making new identities and recreating old ones. Since last year, I’ve gone from cringey freshman to a smooth and sexy bachata dancer by finding a passion and investing love and energy into it. I have also (been forced to) become a reporter and learn how to approach strangers and get them to talk to me. I’ve learned to cook moist chicken.
I’ve made these identities, and now they make up Victoria.
My identity isn’t just a girl or a sophomore or a student, and neither is yours. You’re everything, from a badass writer to someone’s whole universe (thanks, Mom).