Recently I went home for my winter break looking forward to hanging out with old friends, family and most importantly, eating my way through the holidays. Instead, I found myself, weirdly, watching a lot of UFC fights with my older brother, drinking with my friend (that’s right, only one) and third wheeling more holiday events with my parents than I ever thought possible. For example, I’ve been to not one but three Broadway musicals with them, and for one of them I sat alone a few rows back because we couldn’t find seats together. I’ll probably use that story in a book written about my life because, come on, that’s pretty comical; it also included holding hands and singing Diana Ross, with my seat mates I didn’t know. Step aside Lena Dunham.
Events like that one have led me to poke fun of my single status a lot, as well as other topics college-aged women find
themselves thinking about. Getting asked by family and friends what I’m planning on doing after college, where I want to live, how I’m going to use my English degree to ‘make a living’, do I think I’ll ever get married, and my favorite, do I have at least any potential suitors?
I respond immediately with self-deprecating humor or shoving food in my mouth in an attempt to distract. Although the twitter world [hopefully] loves my tweets about the first hand I’ve held in months being a gay man’s during a Broadway sing-a-long, it had me asking, why do I feel the need to pick on myself? Why am I embarrassed that I’m single or pursuing a degree in the arts, or the billion of other things I try to cover up with mediocre humor?
As it’s the Holidays and we’re surrounded by relatives and loved ones interested in our well-being, why not try sincerity and pride this year? Think of all the things to celebrate about yourself. Did you know only about 7% of the world has a college degree? We’re studying to be apart of that elite number; that is incredible. It’s deplorable how often we forget how truly fortunate we are. Those of us lucky enough to get the opportunity to have a career we love, pursue a degree that fulfills us, and to choose whomever we want to love, shouldn’t be embarrassed about still striving towards it. Who cares if I don’t know my perfect man yet or where I’m going to work in a few months? The fact that we get to be so choosey and look at so many options is something to brag about – not hide from.
Sorry to the relatives of the world who believe their college-aged daughters, nieces, sisters, cousins, whomever, need to have their lives perfected and planned right now. They don’t and they shouldn’t. College women today are smarter than ever. They know that opportunity is everything and they won’t settle for anything less than the best there is. Don’t follow my self-deprecating lead; be proud of everything you have going for you and more importantly that you have the luxury of looking forward to a world of unknown opportunities. It’s also the most wonderful time of the year so eat another cookie and tell your nosey aunt you can’t wait to see what life has in store for you and maybe, if you’re really lucky, it includes more of those cookies.