Photo by Allison Hubbard
I’ve been under the selfish pretense that all my peers at Pepperdine have life figured out. Although I know that’s not necessarily true, the moment I am having difficulties in class (or with life in general), I assume that everyone is milestones ahead of me.
How do they all have perfectly lined–up schedules where classes start at noon so they can go to morning yoga or surf class? Am I the only one who wakes up and decides “snooze” is more valuable than Wednesday Convocation? Does anyone else still meander into the bookstore during week three of classes to purchase textbooks?
To me, no one else is in the same position. No one else has 14 pairs of eyes staring when they try to parallel park on a hill in front of a Maserati. Surely there is no one else on this campus who woke up this morning in the shirt they had worn the day before and simply put on different pants.
In my panicked logic, I believe there is no one on this campus losing sanity, but in reality the truth must be that there are more than I realize.
Why does it seem to me that others feel the need and the pressure to perform this art of having it all together? How many students are on the verge of panic before they give an hour-long presentation to their peers? Honestly, who shows up to every class for some imaginary attendance award professors tally up in their minds?
All of the students who attend Pepperdine — friends, family, people you’ve seen 15 times but never actually met — are in the same washed-up and torn-down boat, gliding on smooth seas only half the time, but always riding out the storm together.
Yet there is a need to fulfill the role of perfection. I’m not saying don’t strive to do well or reach for opportunities. I’m simply trying to say don’t be so hard on yourself if you’re a freshman who is undeclared or a senior without a job lined up.
Too many of us skip by daily beauty in lieu of panic for the future and look around at all those who seemingly have it together. How can we not? It’s a tendency I am guilty of, and if it goes on long enough, the idea that people are perfect will begin to stick like flypaper. It has the capability to drown, because suddenly hopes will seem lesser and dreams unachievable.
College is a marathon, and if all those around you are set on suicide pace, you’ll feel silly not to set the same pace, too. Take a glance at your surroundings. Some people are walking, some are crawling, and some are still stretching their toes across the starting line.
Don’t be afraid to admit to others that you “having it together” is an act. That you wore the same shirt two days in a row (don’t worry, Febreeze counts, right?). And never be afraid to admit “I have no idea” to anything.
College is life dangling on an edge, and that’s what makes it the best and worst four (or more, who’s judging?) years of your life. Don’t be afraid to remind yourself that life is messy.
Follow the Alexa Brown on Twitter: @lexarosedear