Preparing for my first semester of university has been equal parts exciting and terrifying. Besides the enrolment forms, timetables, and book lists, the thing that I can't stop stressing about is... well... me.
The thing that I have really enjoyed about my holidays so far is being alone with my family. At home, I feel so Me. At home, there are no assumptions or stereotypes and no pressure to warp myself to fit into a character mould.
It seems to me that leaving school and having all this time to think about myself has resulted in me becoming surer and more confident in my identity as an individual. I have had time to learn myself better, and really reflect deeply on my relationships with others in the past, with a mind to grow into healthier friendships.
All in all, it scares me a little that I'm going to have to go back into the wild, messy world. I'm nervous that after all the thinking and feeling that I've done over my break, I'll get lost again in it all. Changing who I am to fit peoples' expectations of me; accepting stereotypes and situations that I don't sit comfortably with; even losing my authentic voice in the fog of self-doubt.
WHO IS IT FOR?
I've even been concerned that the fact that I have a stereotype as top student will make me the go-to person for help again, as was always the case in high-school. I have been stuck time and time again with the role of a strong, smart person. And most of the time, this is the opposite of how I have felt.
The ugly friendship I squirmed out of last year was in part fuelled by my acceptance of this role in our relationship. I think that it will be hugely important for me to start expressing my vulnerabilities more with people whom I trust, and accept more that I am not always on top of everything. I need to look after ME more.
In regards to maintaining my sense of 'Me-ness' this year, it's impossible to tell from this side of it all how it will play out. But the best I can do is to approach it with an attitude of doing it for ME. I am going to try not to overcorrect this by stuffing everybody and being an insufferable egotist. However, I intend to have a mindset of fulfilling my expectations of myself instead of everyone else's, and of caring for myself.