6 Reasons Why I Still Feel Awkward Celebrating Success

6 Reasons Why I Still Feel Awkward Celebrating Success

And I don’t know about you, but I always feel awkward when someone says “Congratulations!” to me whenever I achieve success.

Success can be measured in anything deemed worthy of accomplishment. Whether it’s getting that new job promotion, paying off student loans (finally), graduating from school or even becoming one year older, success can come in many different forms. And I don’t know about you, but I always feel awkward when someone says “Congratulations!” to me whenever I achieve success. Maybe everyone does at some point, but here are six reasons why I still feel awkward celebrating success.

1. I hate smiling on camera. (Double Chin much?)

(Photo by Heather Soulchin)

What do people love more than saying “Congratulations!” when the time is right? Why taking pictures of course! For the life of me, I absolutely hate taking posed camera pictures. And candid photos are even worse for me!

[See Exhibit A above where I was posing with others after giving a speech at my college (second from right)! I was nervous as all hell about public speaking in front of a crowd… that’s my excuse for making that face. Also, I'm just horrible in front of cameras.]

There’s nothing more awkward for me than taking photos at celebrations - unless you count “singing” karaoke in front of strangers, then that’s almost even stephen there fam.

2. I’m insecure AF when I’m the Center of Attention.

Call me humble, call me normal or whatever you prefer, but I’m a very insecure person when all eyes are on me. I’m a certified ambivert, I can be both an introvert and extrovert, depending on the time of day and the social situation I’m in. As much as I love how ambiverted I can be, my introvert side always seems to shine when a spotlight is put on me. Wanna thank me about my latest accomplishment in front of others? Yeah, don’t be surprised if I say a quick “Thank You” while I secretly die inside hoping that I can run into the nearest corner and fade into the background like Homer Simpson.

3. I hear “Congratulations” too often.

Now, I know that you just called me humble, or normal, or whatever the heck you called me above, but this next reason is gonna make you call me a dick: I hear “Congratulations” too often from others. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, (or that I’m ungrateful for people saying congrats to me), but I just want people to congratulate me when I hit major milestones in my life that are worthy of saying congrats about, and not for minor things that I’ll forget about in the near future.

4. I was raised to never stop working hard.

Momma didn’t raise a quitter, alright fam? She also didn’t raise a lazy SOB either (no matter how badly I love being a procrastinator). I work nonstop, even if it seems like I’m not being super productive, so of course I’m never gonna slow down in life, even if it is to celebrate my successes.

5. I’ve been told that I have the Mamba Mentality.

This kind of coincides with number 4 above, but I have what’s been dubbed as the Mamba Mentality. Kobe Bryant has been known to live and breathe the mentality of never quitting in whatever it is that you do in life and that in the face of adversity, people with the Mamba Mentality find a silver lining and keep on going through life. If you’d like to learn more about the Mamba Mentality, here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of the phrase and here’s Kobe Bryant talking about Mamba Mentality in a Nike commercial.

6. I don’t expect you to Congratulate me… I expect your respect.

(Photo by Heather Soulchin)

Yes, I sound like a dick with this reason too, but hey, I mean it. If you really want to congratulate me, say not the words “Congratulations, Sara!”, but I’d rather you say to me “Sara, I respect you for graduating college” or “Sara, you made it through another year of life. Happy 21st Birthday!” Yeah, this sounds like a little bit of work, but to take the time to say something more sincere than the cliche “Congrats!” would mean a hell of a lot more to me and make me feel less and less awkward when celebrating my life’s successes.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Heather Soulchin

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

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Overcoming Adversity Through Dedicated Involvement

The symbolism and values behind my sorority and the six honors society I am involved in are treasures I will take with me after graduation.


This past weekend was action packed. On Saturday, April 27th, I had my Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society induction and on Sunday, April 28th, I was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success induction in the early afternoon and then proceeded to present my senior legacy plan for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha.

On Saturday, I was inducted into Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society. This honors society is particularly special to me because it celebrates the accomplishments of students with some form of disability, yet, despite these barriers, are able to break the stigma surrounding disabilities through setting the example that disabilities do not have to hold us back, or "disable us." This organization encourages us to celebrate our achievements, whatever form they may take while setting an example going forward that disabilities may be a part of who of we are, but do not define us, nor limit us in being leaders and achieving great things.

Earlier this semester I was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, which is the National Communication Association's official honor society at four-year universities. According to the National Communication Association, Lambda Pi Eta represents what Aristotle described in Rhetoric as three ingredients of persuasion: Lambda, logos, meaning logic; Pi, pathos, relating to emotion; and Eta, ethos, defined as character credibility and ethics.

During the Fall 2018 semester, I was initiated into Order of Omega, honor society for leaders in the Greek community and encouraging Greek-wide unity among the sororities and the fraternities. I was also initiated into Golden Key International Honour Society. The seal of Golden Key puts emphasis on academics, leadership, and service. As with all these different honor's societies, recognition of academic excellence is only the beginning; these organizations aim to help students discover who they are so that they can reach their potential.

The year prior, during the Fall 2017 semester, I was initiated into Tau Sigma Honor Society for Transfer Students and became a charter member for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. Tau Sigma aims to help transfer students feel recognized in their academic achievements through the first semester at their new school, while also promoting their involvement in student life so that transfer students, like myself, can continue successfully through their journey after transferring. The values of Alpha Sigma Alpha, growth, integrity, responsibility, generosity, enjoyment, relationships, and learning are what drew me to this organization, in the first place, and, in fact, I have them as my lock-screen screensaver.

I absolutely adore symbolism and the deeper meaning behind what can potentially be taken at face value. I was so excited to learn more about the shield for NSLS, over the weekend, which includes a Phoenix, just how ASA's insignia does. The Phoenix in NSLS symbolizes overcoming adversity since the Phoenix is capable of rising from the ashes. For my legacy plan, I discussed the symbolism of Alpha Sigma Alpha as an organization and shared my experiences pertaining to each symbol through in what became a PowerPoint photo book, which also turned into a day of celebrating poise and purpose, living joyously, and success through leadership development.

The Delta Alpha Pi pin and the National Society of Leadership and Success, are great additions to my "honors bear," which was given to me by my parents the day of my Cuyahoga Community College commencement ceremony; I have been adding pins to it ever since I transferred to Cleveland State University. All I'm missing is my Order of Omega pin, but the rest of them are pictured in the cover photo.

With my involvement in all of these student organizations, I will be wearing 5 sets of honors cords, my honors award medallion, and my ASA stole at graduation. Initially, I was embarrassed by all my graduation regalia, but thanks to the reassurance and support from my best friends and parents, I am no longer embarrassed and am so proud of myself for how far I really have come, despite mental illness, trauma, and recovery, and what I've been able to achieve despite.

Though it's technically a mythical creature, the Phoenix has officially become my spirit animal, right up there with owls and butterflies, because no matter what happens, I know in my heart of hearts that I am more than capable of overcoming adversity, whatever shape it may take, and am so excited to move forward fearlessly, with these values and symbols guiding the way.

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