I learned something today, and it kind of sucks.
You’re going to have bad days in college and you’re going to feel like crying. You’re going to feel like you’re not good enough or you’re not pretty enough or maybe you just don’t belong here. You’re going to feel all of this and it’s going to suck.
But here’s the thing–you can’t do anything about it because you’re never alone. You can’t cry in your room because you have a roommate. You can’t work out at the rec center because you think you’re fat or ugly or whatever and people at the rec already look perfect. And you can’t work out in the room because, again, you have a roommate. Who sends pictures of you to your friends because it’s “funny” or whatever. And you can’t tell them that you’re not in the mood today. That today none of that’s funny, it’s all just annoying and hurtful. Because you see this pictures of your ugly self and you hate yourself a little more. But you can’t say that because you’re “overreacting.”
And you just always feel like you’re being judged. Because you maybe you go to a school like Miami University. A school with a reputation of being pretty and smart. But right now you feel neither. You feel inadequate by comparison. Because one time your brother said you had cankles and you never noticed that before but it’s true, so now you see it every day. And another time two girls in your school with perfect bodies said, “If I ever have cellulite put me down.” And you didn’t know before that not everybody has that, but now you see that that’s true too. And every day you see these girls with flat stomachs and normal-sized calves and you don’t compare. You can’t compare. And in every picture you see of yourself it becomes more and more obvious. And in every picture you see it hurts a little more.
And it gets to the point where you hate pictures. First it’s full-body pictures because you aren’t tanned and you aren’t toned. But then you realize you don’t even have a pretty face. You have yellow teeth with a gap and a chip in the front one and you have ugly hair and weird freckles and are those moles? And the good days are the days where you give yourself a pep talk and you truly believe you look average. Or, better yet, you drink some alcohol and then you think you’re pretty. And maybe everybody else thinks you’re pretty, too, because they’re intoxicated and don’t know any better. But then you’re sober and you’re back in front of the mirror, hating yourself.
But the worst part is that you can’t tell anyone. They’re not going to agree with you! They’re just going to try and reassure you that you’re beautiful but that can’t change your mind. It’s never changed your mind before so why would it change it now?
I wish it was that easy.
I could get a million comments on this saying, “don’t say that, you’re beautiful!” but none of it would matter. Not a single one. Maybe it would make me feel better for a second, but one look in the mirror would change everything. Because what I see is ugly in every sense of the word. And what I see, I believe everyone else sees too. And the only thing that matters is what I see, and what I believe others see. And I guess I just don’t know how to change that.
The only way to change my view of myself is to change my exterior. That’s what I’ve realized, but that’s a lot harder than it sounds. Because you don’t go to the rec because it’s hard. And you say yes to the pancakes with chocolate chips because it tastes better than yogurt and fruit. But you would give everything to change the decisions you made today. And the day before that. And the day before that.
But we can only move forward. And I’m stuck with the body I have because of these decisions I’ve made. But because that doesn’t change overnight, I’m stuck feeling like this for who knows how long. But how do you live in a body you hate?
So you talk to your sister. Someone you think would understand. But you’re too hurt to be kind and end up hurting her feelings and then she says some things and then some things end up on twitter and then you start crying as subtly as you can in your room so your roommate doesn’t see.
So I guess the lesson I learned is this: Self-confidence is not going to come overnight. And it’s never going to come without hard work. It’s going to get a lot harder in college and you’re going to feel a lot worse a lot more often. And I guess the lesson is that you’ve got to find some way to either deal with it or change. But right now it’s hard to do either.
And the other lesson I learned is it’s best to cry in the bathroom because no one will hear you over the flush of the toilet.
PS. Here’s a fitting throwback for you guys: Don’t Let Me Get Me – P!nk