Tiger Confessions has not replaced either of these things or saved me from nervous breakdowns — it hasn’t. Nonetheless, the group has given me necessary perspective, in that I wasn’t the only one going through whatever I was experiencing.
The chance to change how people perceive you is seductive. It comes around so rarely that mere mortals can only dream of it. But while in some cases it can absolutely be beneficial to start afresh — read: peeing your pants in seventh grade — it can, in others, be best to let who you are alone.
It may seem selfish to schedule time to explicitly not to do work, but it’s just giving you both the opportunity and motivation to raise your future productivity. More importantly, you become happier.
The fact is that, even after many hours of dance class, I’m still not a particularly good dancer. And I’m okay with that.
Just because you are single doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy college or learn about yourself. I’ve realized that being single often means that you can do so more.
Does it sometimes bother me that I’m not “cool”? Of course it does. There are days when I would give anything to be the type of person who fits in at Ivy Club or would rush Kappa Alpha Theta. But thinking with my grown-up brain, I’m pretty happy with myself.
There’s nothing selfish about taking care of yourself — which, in the case of introverts, includes being by yourself. I rarely see people after 11 p.m. or so because I’ll be doing both them and myself a disservice if I do.
It’s also not that I’m not independent or strong: I can guarantee you that I am. I’ve traveled the world alone, proven myself academically, and built incredible relationships. But societal norms of male-female interaction have been drilled into my brain for so long that sometimes they inhibit my independence and strength. So many successful, incredible women are the same. It’s not that we’re inherently afraid of something: it’s that we’ve, in a way, been raised to make ourselves small so that men can be big. We’ve been taught to self-sacrifice, to give ourselves up for the benefit of others.
Every year, when Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, rolls around, I find myself staring at a list of people I’ve offended. It takes me hours to put it together; I go through my phone contacts, Facebook, and even class rosters to mark everyone I’ve annoyed, hurt, or disappointed. The process has become automatic at this point, but it’s nonetheless unpleasant. I don’t enjoy being reminded of all the times I’ve screwed up.
I’ve only recently come to realize that there really isn’t anything wrong with me just because I don’t enjoy going out. It’s just not who I am. And after two years, I’m okay with that — you should be, too.