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The Hooligan: uncertain and unconfident

I met with my advisor this week, as many of us college students have done so. It’s getting to the point where I have to start thinking about what I want to do post-graduation. I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but I guess I really didn’t. That’s begun to stress me out. The fear of the unknown, the fear of not wanting to be a deadbeat wash-up, the fear of hating whatever I end up doing, the fear of being insignificant.  

Ideally, my goal is to travel, and see the world for what it holds. I thought I wanted to go into education, but my advisor saw the look of uncertainty on my face. After all, they’ve been in the field for longer than I have and know it more than I’ll ever know. I thought I wanted to go into journalism, but the news bothers me more every day, and I can not do that to myself. I won’t do that to myself. I’ve always felt that being someone’s personal assistant would be fun, but my whole life I’ve been told I’m more than that. 

My whole life, I’ve been told I am smart and that I should be proud of it. But it’s the one thing I hate the most about myself. It is the one feature of any person that can make a group of people turn against you just like that. I don’t use it to place myself above people, I’ve never done that, I know where my place is, it’s with everyone else. I think many people have found that if you show that you are smart, everyone thinks you’re trying to make them feel dumb. To me, that’s incredibly isolating. None of that is true. If you were to look at my brain, it is working a mile a minute, I can’t get it to stop sometimes. One small thing can send my brain off, and anxiety will set in due to this. The words are there, I just don’t know how to articulate them. I began to doubt myself, and that affected me. I thought I was crazy for the longest time, and high school sucked because of this. I know I am not the only person who thinks like this. 

My cousin is one of the smartest people I know. Whenever we come together, I understand how his brain works, and he seems to know how mine works, but we don’t say anything. But my family recognizes this and praises his intelligence, and tells me to be quiet because they don’t need a “know-it-all.” But he was the same way as me. My aunt is too, she does sudoku to challenge her brain, to keep it quiet. We also see it in our little cousin; he just doesn’t have the resources to communicate it yet, and it frustrates him. I know how he feels, I try to articulate that by comparing myself, but it is received by my family as a negative, and they say that I’m not smart. 

I am the dumbest person I know when it comes to everything else. I embrace it, I own up to it. I can fend for myself, I can crank out a three-page essay in an hour or so. Interacting with people, I might as well just keep quiet to save myself the embarrassment of my lack of human interaction. But it’s nice to laugh it off, forget about it, and move on because no one will think about it, so why should you?

There will always be someone better than you. I’ve been told that often, and I know this. I don’t want to be the best, I want to do the best work I can do. God forbid I praise myself for something that I am proud of for some sort of confidence. You’ll be called a narcissist. Newsflash: people care about themselves and want to be accepted in society. It’s good to want to feel good about yourself, everyone does it, everyone wants to feel special every so often. Everyone wants to be called the best at something or at least be recognized for their hard work. But we don’t need it every day, just every once in a while. That’s where the difference lies. 

The thing is, though, you would sacrifice yourself to do anything for others, you don’t care how you look to them either or seeking approval. You’ll drive yourself mad trying to tell yourself you’re not full of yourself. Even while writing this, I am worried I sound full of myself or that I’m asking the audience for pity. I’m not. I just needed something to write about this week, and this has affected me in a significant way. Because someone who was full of themselves wouldn’t think twice or think they’ve done anything wrong. Failure is crucial, I think it’s incredibly important to help grow as a person, criticism as well is a blessing. But who wants to be criticized all the time? Who wants to be told they are a worthless piece of shit? Who wants to be told they have no discernible talent? No one. 

So you see why I really don’t know what I want to do with my life. There are some things that I need to figure out first. But I can do whatever I want with my life because, after all, it’s mine, and I’m proud to say that. But for anyone who might feel the same way, you’ll be okay, you’ll come to find strength when you feel there isn’t any left.

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