Lean Toward Discomfort and Awkwardness

Lean Toward Discomfort and Awkwardness

Let's start leaning.

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It is my final day of freshman orientation here at Villanova University, and in these past 4 days I've learned a few things. First of all, I've learned at least 3 new ice breakers and I know the names of at least some buildings, but I've also learned two big lessons. I learned that we should lean towards discomfort, no matter how sad and horrible it may be, and that I should also lean towards the awkwardness I can only assume most (or at least some) freshman are feeling right now.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to witness a diversity skit in the Villanova Theater, and I can say it was a powerful experience that everyone should see at least once here in campus. For those of you who didn't get to see it, let me break down the main point of it all. A theatrical presentation was put on by ACT (Villanova Association for Change and Transformation) in which they showed several different scenarios of bigotry and hate among students in campus. The idea was to let people in to the reality that some students at Villanova are living. It may not be your friend, or your roommate, or that kid you've never talked to in your morning class, but it's happening to someone.

One specific scenario stood out to me a little more than the others, because frankly they all impacted me, but this one in particular was of a guy with Latin American parents who was talking with his mom in the phone. He was speaking Spanish. My first language is Spanish. A girl starts going off on him for speaking his mother's language (to his mother) and says a list of horrible and despicable things while assuming multiple things about this guy she doesn't even know. I have never experienced this, and I am thankful for that, but I'm not going to lie here and say I didn't know it was a possibility.

Coming to Villanova I was, and still am, excited about my education and my future here. The community and the love you can feel overall around campus drew me here, but I was never oblivious to the faults of the community and the hate hidden in some corners. On my first day I was happy, but afraid. What if people judged me for being from Panama? What if someone heard me speaking Spanish and gave me a dirty look, or even worse spat out some ignorant word? Thankfully none of that has happened. But just because it hasn't happened to me that doesn't mean it hasn't happened to someone else; it doesn't mean it won't happen to other people in other ways. So, I'm glad there is a movement in Villanova that is pushing people towards discomfort and holding up a mirror to the community in order for it to see its imperfections and "ugliness" and do something about it.

The other lesson I learned was a less serious, yet crucial one. Lean towards the awkwardness. Once again, I'm not going to lie here. I'm awkward, or at least I feel that way, and that's the root of the problem. I feel awkward, I convince myself I'm awkward, therefore I am awkward. Coming into orientation I was sure it was going to be awkward, but for once in my life I decided to rely on that and to truly, to put it in sensible terms, not give a shit.

So what if it's awkward? So what if I say a few jokes to try and defuse the tense silence around a table of complete strangers or if I dance like an idiot for an icebreaker? That's what it's all about. Just like with the discomfort, I can't ignore the awkwardness; the only thing I can do is lean towards it and embrace it. This week I have put myself out there in ways that I didn't think I could, and part of me is terrified. I'm scared I talked too much, I'm scared I said the wrong thing, I'm anxious about making friends, but fuck it. Lean towards that awkwardness and use it, not as a shield or an excuse to be quiet, but as a strength you can rely on to make the transition to college swifter and much more enjoyable.

In the end, I think I learned one big lesson. College is not the time to run away from problems, it's not the time to hide in a little bubble in an alternate reality, and it is not the time to look the other way. As we start our journey to become actual adults (apparently we are fake adults at the moment), we have to learn how to deal with the good and the bad. Let's lean into what makes us uncomfortable, be it something on a large scale that affects millions, like racism or homophobia, or something that affects us personally, like feeling like we don't fit in. This is the time to stand, face the ugliness and the uncomfortableness, look it in the eye, and make a choice of how we are going to change. So start leaning, I promise it will make all the difference.

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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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8 New Years Resolutions You Can Actually Keep In 2019

Dear 2019, you will be MY year!

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The New year comes with a fresh start, you can finally start and be the person you want to be this year; however, the sad truth is most of the resolutions we keep does not last longer than the month of January.

1. Put yourself first

No matter what the situation let you and your mental health be first this year

2. Be kind to others

Every one always says treat others how you want to be treated, why not give this a go

3. Stop putting yourself down 

Just because you don't do something the way you want it to be done, don't say negative things about yourself this year

4. Dont settle... You deserve so much more

You are amazing let your amazingness shine through, no matter what it may be do not settle.

5. Be productive this year

This is the year to stop procrastinating

6. Love everything about you, even the imperfections

When you look at yourself in the mirror try and say at least on positive thing about your body

7. Make times for things you enjoy

Life is busy I get that, but why not set aside time to enjoy something that you love

8. let yourself appreciate everything life has to offer

we tend to get in our own head a little bit, don't let that be the case for 2019

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