Attack life with abandon.
This is the first lesson I taught myself after high school. No more staring at the ground while walking, no more hiding out in the library during social hour, and absolutely no more avoiding the teacher’s eye contact during class discussion.
Approximately four weeks ago, I arrived on campus the same quiet and reserved girl I had been throughout grade school. But being included in orientations and icebreakers and group dinners by default during my first few days at UD literally forced me to turn over a new leaf. And I am so grateful that it did.
Quite honestly, after the initial uneasiness passed, I went nuts. I made fast friends with all the students in my residence hall section, as well as people across floors in my building. I applied to 186 South College (success!), ran for President of the Redding Hall Community Council (a bit less successful there, but that’s okay!), attended a City Council meeting, and signed up for twenty-three and a half RSOs with the full intention to commit to all of them. With even more exciting projects on my mind to work on in the weeks to come, starting college has been endlessly liberating and thrilling so far.
Now I keep my chin up. I smile at random passersby. I initiate conversation. I make it a point to greet everyone, not just the people I know. And I (try my best to) stare into the souls of professors during class, daring them to call on me though my hand was not raised. I’m still the same Abhigna, Abby, Biggy, that I have always been: just a new and improved version of her that I can be proud of and trust to put herself out there and get stuff done.
Letting go of inhibitions doesn’t have to be difficult at all. In terms of strategy, this is my best advice: go at it cold. Just rip off the band-aid. Pounce on every opportunity like it’s your prey. It’s really just mind over matter. Tell yourself you will, and…you will. It won’t seem that simple at first, but try it, and you might be surprised at how much you begin to achieve through sheer, positive, self-motivation.
I have finally come to understand what it means to stand in my own way, and I simply refuse to be like that anymore. I have never felt more driven, and it feels so empowering to be this way: bold and unapologetic in my approach to life.
I’m not telling you all of this to boast of my newfound confidence. I want to convince you that breaking out of your shell, especially without any prior plan to do so, is so possible, and I encourage this 360° turn in everybody. We are already the most progressive generation yet—can you imagine the impact we can have if we merely adjusted our attitude and outlook on the world?
This is certainly easier said than done. But I implore you to push yourself farther than you ever have out of your comfort zone. Do I have bad days? Of course, sometimes multiple times a week. But it’s how you recover and persevere in the face of adversity that is a true testament to your grit.
You won’t always be a winner. You might come out with a few battle scars, a couple cuts and bruises here and there. But at the end of the day, you will be relieved that you did what you did, rather than not chasing after your vision and later wondering what could have been. And most importantly, maybe you will discover new sides of yourself, each one with its own talents, interests, and personalities.
For the record, I am nothing close to a life coach. In fact, I am in desperate need of one myself. But I figured since we are all simultaneously going through this perplexing, exhilarating, and frankly underappreciated transition into adulthood, we could share at least some of it with each other while we’re here.
This was the first look into what I plan to make my 186 South College blog series: “The Art of Life”. This is where I will talk about everything remotely human-related, from the little, everyday mistakes that we are bound to make and what we can learn from them to how we can pick ourselves up from a downfall and change for the better.
A lot of what I write will sound like personal journal entries and stream of consciousness—and in essence, they are—but reflection helps me to keep moving forward, and I would love for you to join me on this journey. None of what I openly discuss will apply to everyone, but my hope is that some of you out there like me will be able to find refuge in deep thought and abstract conversation. It won’t all be sunshine and rainbows, and it won’t always be perfect, but hey! We have to start somewhere.
So, this is me, starting. Let’s start together.
- “Major Decisions” by Nicole Pinera - June 7, 2019
- “Artes Vita: Setting the Stage” by Abhigna Rao - June 6, 2019
- “Are Parisian Stereotypes True?” by Hayley Whiting - May 15, 2019