This week I am at college orientation, my first taste at what it is like to live the college lifestyle. Here you have a bunch of 18 year olds thrown together, all equally excited and petrified at the same time. I'm not a shy person, I'm extremely outgoing and vivacious, so these types of situations usually don't make me nervous. However when walking onto campus I couldn't crush the little voice in the back of my head thinking, "what if they don't like me?" But then I realized, who cares? The good and genuine people who want to be my friend, will like me for who I am. So I challenged myself, to be my full and true self and not alter who I am just to please my future classmates. Difficult? Sometimes, but it payed off. I've already met a group of great friends, who enjoy me just the way I am. See the thing is, no one here knows about that rumor your best friend started, or about that boy you hooked up with, all they know is the person you put forward today. Who you were is behind you, the slate is fresh. It took me a while to realize that to find good people, you have to stay true to who you are and the ones who like you will make it known. Put yourself out there, be bold. Some people will embrace you with open arms, and others may not, and that's totally okay. Being yourself isn't about getting everyone to like you, it's about being okay with yourself and getting the right people to like you.
I'll admit it, I'm scared. Scared of not being good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. And I don't think that fear ever really goes away, you just learn to live with it. People are going to ridicule you and try to tear you down, but it is up to you if you let that destroy you. People will label you and judge you, and do everything in their power to try to belittle you. Don't let them. Eliminate that voice that keeps telling you you're not good enough, because as long as you are genuine and love yourself, nothing else matters.
I challenge you all to look within and what version of yourself you are presenting to the world, the one you want them to see, or the one they want to see. Are you being yourself?
P.S I'm having a blast at orientation, I've met some great people!