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Experiences

What I Learned About (Finally) Speaking My Mind

Growing up, I was never a fan of confrontation. As the “nice kid,” I always got walked over for as long as I can remember. Even in high school, I was mistreated by my peers and still could not find the courage to stand up for myself. As I have gotten older, I have learned more about myself and that putting my foot down is not something to be ashamed of.

PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR IT

Sometimes, people act the way they do because they haven’t learned otherwise. This could be for several different reasons: upbringing, environment, social status, et cetera. Something that I have learned in one of my classes this semester is that behavior tolerated is behavior allowed. People will continue to do the things they do, no matter how negative, if it is tolerated by others.

These are the kind of people that need to be told as it is. You should not have to worry about walking on eggshells around them or carefully articulating what you are trying to say to them – as one of my best friends says religiously, “Say it with your chest” – Gina Ivey. People will not change or understand what you are feeling unless you are upfront with them. Change can happen, but it is only if people know that it needs to happen.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR

When you keep things to yourself and choose not to speak up to others, you will never truly be happy. Being honest and speaking your mind is one of the biggest favors that you can do for yourself. It is not good to let anyone walk all over you without any repercussions.

Not only is it important that you do yourself a favor by speaking your mind, but you can also help others by speaking out. For those that have not yet found their voice or have a hard time standing up for themselves, you can be there to help them find their voice.

Sometimes, you will hurt people’s feelings when you speak your mind. But that is just the way it is with certain people – you should not have to hurt yourself or allow others to continue to affect you negatively by choosing not to speak up for yourself. Your voice has power. Use it!

Don’t expect to make a difference unless you speak up for yourself.

Laurie Halse Anderson

STAND YOUR GROUND

At the end of the day, it is important to stand your ground and put your foot down. Although you may feel guilty or as if it is not a good idea, it is the best decision that you can make for yourself. Letting your crown tip at the expense of others is never a good idea. You have to remember to take care of you first.

Speak your mind, tell people how you feel, and see things begin to improve. Do not forget your place in this world or lower your expectations for others because you are afraid of hurting them. Remember your values and never settle for less!

Emma Oresic

Winthrop '24

Hi everyone! My name is Emma Oresic and I am a junior Elementary Education major at WU. Some of my favorite pastimes are painting, watching Netflix, and reading and writing.