Say Goodbye to Clutter

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First Draft:

In high school, I was THAT girl. The girl who became a member, and usually an officer, of almost every club at school. The girl who got to school events early and stayed late. The girl who aimed for perfect grades and settled for no less. The girl who got WAY too excited about spirit week and an almost always losing football team.

When it came time for me to graduate, I felt ecstatic because I had been chosen to speak at graduation, the culmination of my efforts and overachievement. Truthfully, this experience propelled me towards wanting to pursue a degree in communication studies because I enjoyed speaking in front of others so much! I had confidence that when I got to college, I could continue these habits and rise to the top of my class.

Coming to Furman, reality hit. My confidence disappeared as I realized that I was no longer smarter or more involved than anyone else on campus. Many of us were scholars. Others were student body presidents. Some were both. Suddenly I was the small town Greenville girl in the midst of the pressure-filled Furman bubble.

Fortunately, the beginning of my college career humbled me and allowed me to look at my life from a new perspective. I realized that I didn’t need to be THAT girl anymore. I just needed to discern what my true passions were and follow them wholeheartedly. Pursuing a communication degree and becoming involved in local faith-based groups have given me the perfect outlet to do that. I don’t need to be THE best, I need to be MY best.

Revision:

In high school, I was THAT girl. The girl who became a member of every club. The girl who obsessively aimed for perfect grades. The girl who yelled way too loudly for a losing football team.

As graduation approached, I was asked to speak at commencement. Our speech coach gave me this Margaret Thatcher quote to address:

“Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”

Speaking at graduation led me to confidently pursue a degree in communication studies. However, my confidence faded in my first few weeks on campus. Taking a public speaking class, I realized that I was no smarter or no more involved than anyone else. Everyone was THAT girl or THAT guy here.

Now, I’m thankful for this humbling beginning in college because it allowed me to shed the pressure of being THAT girl. If I can graduate college, not as the commencement speaker or as the most involved, but as someone who committed herself to her ideals and passions, similar to Thatcher’s commitment to harmony, truth, faith and hope, then I’ve actually succeeded.

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