Move-In

Its hard to imagine that at this time four years ago, I got on a plane and flew to the East Coast for the first time to start my first year at college. And its even crazier to think that my very first year here would set up quite the chain of events that have shaped me so much.

This is my last year as an undergrad. My last year as an RA and ARA, where I’ve learned so much, and found a calling to higher education.

It won’t hit me that its my last year until I’m done with my last final before graduation, or signed off of my last night on duty. Or maybe when I’m showing my family around New Hampshire when they finally come to visit (for my graduation no less).

I went home for my mom’s wedding in April and family that I hadn’t spoken to very much told me that they followed how I was doing on Facebook. They spoke highly of how much I had thrived being away from family and close friends. I wasn’t sure what they meant, and shrugged it off; but I understand what they mean now.

In the last four years I’ve gained confidence. This assurance has led me to doubt myself less – though sometimes those thoughts still sneak in. I feel more comfortable in my own skin. My social circles have changed with new faces.

On Wednesday, my Fall classes for senior year start, and so does my search for grad schools. Part of that search is meeting with many of the people around campus that I can call my mentors. They’ll help guide me in making choices that could steer me in a wide variety of ways.

I have all of my end goals in mind. It ultimately comes down to how I hope to achieve them.

Here’s to senior year.

Comic reviews will return soon! RA training has kept me busy, and I didn’t have time or energy to schedule posts to go up while I was busy. But fear not, I have read several comics that I can write reviews for so that way there won’t be as big of a drought.

 

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Messages to Ourselves

“I used to think there was just fat and skinny. But apparently there’s lots of things that can be wrong on your body.” – Cady, Mean Girls

At some point in elementary school I determined that I wasn’t beautiful.

And that mindset was reiterated to me through high school.

“Let me see yours,” Miranda said. She gestured to the large envelope I was putting in my backpack that contained my prom photos.

messages-to-ourselves
Oh gosh, me in a dress, with a guy I’m still good friends with.

I stared at her for a moment before I reached in and took out the small, black cardboard framed photo from a few weeks ago. She snatched it up, and examined the two figures grinning up at her.

“Why’re you so short?” Miranda looked up at me. She ignored the dress I wore, or the fact that my date was two feet taller than me. Miranda and everyone else had to point out it was my fault I was vertically challenged.

I shrugged. My height was something my friends had picked on. If it wasn’t that, it was my choice in clothes, or boyish haircuts.

Reading became my escape. It was much easier to face He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, or the murderous trail of Count Olaf, than the friends that picked on my appearance.

I got used to telling myself in the mirror, “You’re not good enough for anyone.”

When I found myself in a relationship in college, my inner monologue didn’t change.

“Why would you date a hobbit like me?” I asked my then girlfriend.

“Why would you say that about yourself?” She looked at me as we sat on her bed doing homework.

“Cause its true. You’re beautiful, and confident. And I’m going to fuck this up,” I said. She set aside her textbook and scooted across the blue comforter to me.

“I happen to like hobbits. And you’re beautiful, too,” she said.

We showered each other with compliments, but I still had a hard time believing the kind words she said to me.

A childhood of negative thoughts had skewed my reflection.

Children are aware of body issues and methods to control body size and appearance by the time they are preschoolers, and many young children start exhibiting socially motivated distortions in their body perceptions.­[1]

At ten years old, I compared myself to the other girls in my class. It started when they took more time in the bathroom to fix their hair and apply another layer of LipSmackers. They cared about impressing the cute boys in class, and I cared about playing kickball at recess.

No one told me I wasn’t beautiful. I told myself.

My own words caused more damage than the casual or joking comments from friends. These micro aggressions taught me to see what was wrong with my body.

I stopped loving who I was.

[1] See “Children, Teens, Media, and Body Image.” Common Sense Media.