How to be Single: Why it’s important

How to be Single.png

Hello, World.

I recently watched How To Be Single for the first time, and was cracking up through the whole movie. I totally loved it: loved the message, the cast, the whole thing. While the film is meant to be a comedic look at the different ways people are single, and how they handle the status, I think that the message of the film is actually really important. Sure, watching Rebel Wilson make vulgar comments about men or show up late 3+ hours to work is funny, but I think the storyline I most enjoyed was Dakota Johnson’s, which shows a college graduate terminate a long term relationship so she can figure out “what she’s like on her own.” Frankly, being alone is something most people struggle with.

A lot of people see others coupling off, and feel like maybe it’s time to settle down. And we won’t even go into the subtle societal comments that imply we’re living in a Jane Austen novel… We are conditioned to believe that being with someone is best. However, I’m pretty happy being single, and I have a ton of friends who are also happy being single. I dated someone my freshman year of college, and I’m so glad it didn’t work out because the next three years were REALLY transformative for me, and I don’t think they would have been so important had I still been dating someone. I think being comfortable alone is important, but what I think is more important is using the time alone to really figure out who you are as an individual. Sure, one day you can be part of a couple, but you need to know what you’re bringing to the table, what you’re offering, and how the person you’re dating can compliment the person you are.

Not to hate on people who date a lot or switch from long term relationship to long term relationship, but I sometimes wonder if the people who do this know who they are. It’s hard to imagine that those relationships haven’t sort of defined who the person is. From the outside, it appears that the growing and maturing that happens in early adulthood is happening in relation to someone else. This is probably not true for everyone, and I don’t mean for it to sound like a standard. However, I do think it is fundamentally important for people to know who they are. Here’s the thing: if you don’t know who you are and what you’re looking for and what you deserve, how can anyone appreciate who you are when even you don’t know who that is. Relating this to How To Be Single, [NOTE: this may contain a spoiler, so avert your eyes if you don’t want a small plot point ruined], Dakota Johnson’s character spends much of her time that she’s supposed to be “finding herself” hooking up with or trying to fall for a new guy. The irony, of course, is that her idea of finding herself is finding another male counterpart. It’s soon revealed this is, quite obviously, the wrong way to go about finding yourself.

I think the most important part of being comfortable alone is recognizing you don’t have to settle. Now, naturally, one of the concerns about people being too comfortable alone is that they won’t ever settle down, but I think this is unreasonable as far as arguments go. Yes, people can be too comfortable being alone, but the thing is, if someone really wants to be part of your life, you will accommodate them because it’ll be too good to pass up. While you may be stuck in your ways, and stubborn about the proper way to put toilet paper on the dispenser, if you know the fit is right, you might ease up on the little things. However, you still remain steadfast in the things that make you you: belief systems, what treatment you will allow, your career goals, etc. I think there is a reason a large percentage of people say they found their significant other, spouse, etc. when they weren’t really looking. So, if you’re single, go out there and be yourself, and do your thing, and the love stuff will come when it does. If you’re in a relationship or married or whatever, make sure you know who you are, and what you, as an individual, are bringing to your relationship.

Now, to close, I will say if you haven’t seen How To Be Single, I suggest renting it, making some popcorn, pouring a glass of wine, and watching it ASAP.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Choosing a College

Hello, World.

Even though we haven’t gotten to spring break yet, I wanted to share a post about picking a college! I know a lot of people are probably in the process of hearing back from schools, or anxiously awaiting the emails (or envelope) that roll in beginning around this time and continue through March.

I remember being SO incredibly anxious when I was applying to college (and again when law school application season came). I was young, and stubborn, and insisted on applying early to what I thought was my dream school (an Ivy League that was both out of my league and not a good fit for me). I got the rejection in December, and after a few pity parties, I reevaluated my options, and the VERY NEXT DAY after being rejected, my acceptance from Saint Mary’s came. It was almost like a sign, if you believe in signs. I waited to make my decision, though, until I heard from every college I applied to, which was kind of a lot.

Once I had all the offers in front of me, I decided to make pro con lists, and visit the schools I was accepted to, but hadn’t seen yet. So, today I’ll share what went into my decision-making process five (!!!) years ago! [Note: I feel SO old writing that. I cannot believe my senior year of high school was five years ago…]

Choosing a college.png

  1. Take a Tour | I personally feel that touring a college can make or break your opinion, and ultimately your decision, about a college. I toured various schools when I was applying to college, and each tour was very distinct. In fact, I could probably tell you which tours left the best and worst impressions. I did an extended post about college tours a few years back, and still stand by everything I said then!
  2. Chat with Current Students | When I was applying to law schools, I was blown away that numerous current students from William and Mary emailed me and answered all my questions SO thoroughly. I think if you can chat with current students, whether on campus, through email, or over the phone, you can figure out if you’d like to be friends with people who comprise the student body. If you don’t really feel like you could be friends with current students, that may be a bad sign about the fit of the college!
  3. Make a List of Must-Haves | If there are things you really really want out of your college experience, make sure the place you choose can deliver them. You want Greek like? Maybe don’t attend a school that doesn’t have Greek. Do you want to be walking distance from independent coffee houses? Check out Berkeley, or schools that are located near a unique town!
  4. Talk to Faculty | Are the faculty you talk with people you’d want to learn from? People you’d want to build relationships with? If you feel like the faculty aren’t invested in students, maybe look elsewhere. But at the same time, if you want to keep a low profile, maybe that’s a positive for you!
  5. Class Size | Do you want to be a name or a number? If you’re constantly taking classes with 250+ people, you probably won’t get the individualized education you could get at a college that’s average class has 25 students. Class size can affect A LOT about your education, so make sure you figure out what you want. A way to figure this out? Sit in on a class at a large university and at a small university, and compare!
  6. Financial Aid Package/Scholarship Opportunities | College is a very expensive endeavor, so you want to assess the financial aid you will receive from schools. Additionally, a lot of schools offer merit based scholarships, and if you get one, it can be a huge help to footing the educational bill.  So, look into those opportunities!
  7. Spend a day in the town you’ll be living in | I think sometimes when you visit campus, you get a bit swept up in the experience, and forget to really evaluate if the town around the college is somewhere you’d want to live. I toured Santa Clara University, and hated the surrounding area. When I visited Saint Mary’s, I liked that Moraga was quaint, and that I had really easy access to San Francisco, Berkeley, and Walnut Creek. All the city amenities were there if I wanted them, but I wasn’t in the middle of them, which made for a better academic environment! However, if you want to be in a hustle and bustle city, go check out the city, see what it’s like, and make sure it’s somewhere you want to spend ample time! Cities vary greatly, so make sure the city you’ll be living in is the kind of city you like.

So, I could share more tips, but I feel like the above seven are the biggest indicators that you’ll be happy somewhere… or not! If you have individual questions, feel free to email me! I love hearing from readers, and now that I have college admissions at arms length, I like helping people figuring out what’s best for them!

Truly,
Callie leigh

Saying No to Self-Doubt

Hello, World.

Today I want to share a post about self-doubt. But rather than lament that 90%, probably more, of the population experiences self-doubt regularly, I think it’s important to figure out ways to close the door on self-doubt. Figure out how to say, “no thank you!” or “ain’t nobody got time for that,” to self doubt! We all experience moments where we question our ability, and I think a lot of it has to do with feeling uncertain about the future. It’s not necessarily that we can’t do something, we just wonder if we’re doing the right thing.

WorkingEfficiently.jpg

I have four main ways I combat self-doubt that I usually turn to when I’m starting to question myself, and even in the worst moments, at least one of my methods calms me.

  1. Meditate. Meditation is underrated. I think even if this doesn’t immediately wipe away uncertainty, it at least calms the mind, and you can use meditation to focus on the good things in your life, what your strengths are, and even meditate on why you’re feeling insecure.
  2. Call in the Big Guns (support system, whoever is on the list.) I usually go Mom-Dad-Sister, depending on why I need to call. Sometimes I go Dad first, if it’s a school related stress, and Mom first if it’s a social thing. If I really need to break down, Mom is always first. If none of them are available or I’m still feeling meh, I text my two college friends, who I have a group chat with. They’re always quick to give a pep talk and ground me.
  3. Take a Walk. This could also be a trip to the gym, but I know some days when I’m feeling extra down and I don’t have time to hit the gym, a walk downtown or across campus will calm me down. Fresh air is good for the soul, especially when you aren’t sure you’re in the right place doing the right thing. In those moments, get some fresh air, calm yourself, and remember why you started.
  4. Write it out. Sometimes I will journal when I need to just let out whatever is holding me back. I use a pen, and literally write away the self-doubt. The self-doubt goes onto a piece of paper, and then into the trash (recycling bin). Other days I will write “you are good enough,” or “build your empire,” on a little post it and put it in front of me on my desk or in my planner. That way, even when I’m questioning myself, I’m also encouraging myself!

While each of these steps may seem like they’re not actually that helpful, I can assure you, they are more helpful than you would think. Sometimes calling on someone is best, other times spending a little time on your mental health is best. Other times, getting outside and gaining perspective is needed. And other times, you just have to make self-doubt a tangible item that can be discarded! Whatever you need, each of these offers something a bit different in combating self-doubt!

What’s your favorite way to get rid of self-doubt?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Fitness Goals 2017

Hello, World.

Every year I say I’m going to get fit. I’m going to work out regularly, and eat well, and do whatever the new trend is (green smoothie, anyone?). And I don’t. However, law school stress has pushed me into the realm of liking to work out. I look forward to that hour of getting active, and not worrying about anything but what song is playing on my playlist. So, I wanted to share my fitness goals, now that they’ve kind of already started because I don’t like to share something I’m unlikely to follow through on.

style sneakers.png

Photo via

Hit the Gym 3 times a week.

Trying to find a groove was tricky, but I tired to make it to the gym a few times a week. However, now that I’m more familiar with my schedule this semester, I’m going to do the MWF routine. It seems to be the best option, and I feel like it’ll keep me healthy and positive during the week!

DRINK MORE WATER. 

I’m really kind of terrible about drinking enough water. I’d much rather have some tea or a chai latte. But now that I’m working out, I know I need to be a lot more conscious of drinking enough water, and making sure my body is getting the nourishment it needs.

Say no to sugar (except once a week).

I have a huge sweet tooth. I love sugar, and I crave it as soon as my stress level rises. So, rather than reach for a chocolate bar, I’m training myself to drink a glass of water or eat something with natural sugar (fruit). Cutting sugar is difficult, but over the last few years, I’ve upped my sugar intake, and noticed a huge change in my energy and my body.

Don’t get discouraged when I don’t see immediate results.

I’m putting myself first this year. I’ve always struggle with body-image issues, and I think that working out because I want to is most important. Not because I want to lose weight or something external. I want to feel good and confident. If I lose weight, it’ll be a bonus, but right now I just want to encourage myself to take control of the insecurities I have. I want to work out because it makes me feel good. I usually get annoyed I’m not losing five pounds every gym visit. Now, I just look forward to going to the gym, not what my thighs will look like after.

What are your fitness goals for 2017?

Truly,

Callie leigh

Academic Lanes: Stop Comparing

Hello, World.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while now, but I think I wasn’t sure how to articulate what I really wanted to say about academia in relation to others. Academics are often portrayed as pretty individual, but in reality, academics can be just as competitive and troublesome as the olympic trials (okay, maybe not that competitive, but you get my point). Academics are a battle of the brains, a battle of stamina, and a battle of who can put in the most (or the least) amount of work, and manage to come out on top.

style sneakers.jpg

We live in a world where having a work ethic is ridiculed, and it is somehow cool to put in less work and get a high grade. “Oh, that A I got? I wrote the paper in 20 minutes.” “I only studied for an hour for that exam the morning of, and got a 98.” And those people putting in 110%? They’re overachievers, they’re try-hards, they’re “teacher’s pets.” Why do we care so much about how much or little other people are doing? Rather than focusing on everyone else’s academic journey, I think it’s important we focus on ourselves. Making sure our routine is working for us, making sure we’re making time for mental health, for physical health, and for our general well-being.

Now that I’m in law school, the tendency to compare is so much more prominent than it’s ever been in my life. I hear people comparing notes, subtly mentioning grades, likely hoping someone will say they did worse. I also hear people shaming those who have different study habits. And the people who study, essentially, 24-7 are called annoying, gunners, and,  once again, overachievers. Now, I understand that a HUGE part of comparison derives from the curve situation. All of law school is on a curve, so no matter how great you feel you’re doing, what matters more is how everyone else did in relation to you. So, it’s natural to compare yourself, trying to see where you stand on what feels like an arbitrary line.

But similar to sayings like “keep my name out your mouth,” I kind of feel like we, the academics, need a phrase like “stay in your own academic lane, mine’s occupied.” I think friendly competition is healthy in some contexts, but I would like to see more academics striving to be the best academic they can be, without so much focus on what everyone else is doing. You want to be the best? Okay, do your strategy, and if you’re the best, that’ll be obvious. But if you being the best involves constantly ridiculing other people, you’re not the best. Or you are, but you’re an insecure version of the best. Here’s the thing… the more we criticize other people, but worse we look. It’s actually a lot more amazing when the humble people succeed. Actually, not even the humble people, but the people who just do their own thing, without having to measure up against everyone.

I don’t want to make this post too rant-y, but I will conclude by saying that it’s important to stay in your own academic lane. All academics work differently, think differently, and practice different habits, which is GOOD because that’s why academics are interesting. We can all bring a slightly different perspective or point of view. Revel in the difference.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Finding Study Inspiration

Hello, World.

As we get further into the semester, it feels like we’re already in the trenches, even though it also feels like we just got drafted. So, I wanted to share my top five tips for getting study inspiration on the days that you aren’t necessarily feeling studying, but have to anyway.

Some days, I am extremely focused from the minute I get up, and other days I just can’t quite dedicate myself as effortlessly (even though I will get the work done). I’m sure I’m not the only person who has “off” days in terms of focus because we aren’t robots. If you do have the constant drive and focus though, props to you!

5.png

I was talking about this post with my roommates and used the term “studyspo” and they were both confused. Apparently that’s not used outside of a hashtag, but whatever I’m going to pull a Gretchen Wieners and try to make it happen. So, when you need some study inspiration studyspo, look to the five places I’m going to share with you.

  1. TUMBLR. I follow SO many student tumblrs and they share so many study photos, which immediately makes me want to be productive. Some of my favorite blogs are Lawyering in Lilly, Law School in Lilly, and Study Spaces.
  2. #studyspo. In Instagram, when I need a little inspiration or motivation, I search the hashtag studyspo, and this will usually inspire me after a few minutes of scrolling.
  3. Make a To-Do List. Sometimes my lack of motivation is coming from being unsure where to start because I have a lot on my plate. Making a to do list puts everything visually in front of me, and I can prioritize what I need to get done when.
  4. Get Outside. Feeling restless can sometimes be fixed by listening to yourself, and getting away from your desk for a bit. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a trip to the gym, a fifteen minute meditation, listening to your restlessness, rather than fighting it, can often restore focus.
  5. Make some tea, eat a chocolate, inhale deeply. Some days I have trouble getting focused, and the first four attempts to get focused have failed me already. At this point, I make a cup of my favorite tea, eat a piece of chocolate, and inhale. Then I put my nose to the ground, and pump out an hour of work putting my phone on do not disturb, and forcing everything distracting out.

While the above tips may not seem immediately helpful, I suggest you try them one at a time. Finding focus can be hard, but I promise it’s doable. And if you’re a serious student or Type-A worker, you know that focus isn’t exactly optional. Sometimes we just have to get the work done, whether we want to or not.

What’s your go to method for finding inspiration?

Truly,

Callie leigh

Roommates: College and Beyond

Hello, World.

I did a post about roommates a while back (2 years ago!), which was ironically the last time I had roommates for a while. Once I was an RA, I lived alone. Interestingly, I feel like I learned more about myself while living alone. Anyway, I’m sure most of my tips still ring true, but I wanted to update the post, and add a bit more maturity to it. I think I’ve grown up a lot in the last few years, and I think that after two years as an RA, I now recognize common trends, behaviors, and habits that lead to either healthy or unhealthy roommate situations. This might be repetitive if you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, or at least the last two years, but I really do think everything I’m about to share will help you have a more positive living environment.

Callie Leigh.png

Living with people is hard. Living alone is hard. If you take advice seriously, though, it’ll be easier to adjust to living with people who may be different from you in important ways.

(1) Communicate any expectations right away. Communicating with someone you don’t really know very well can be tricky. Sometimes you come off differently than you intended, and sometimes you aren’t sure how to bring up issues that are important to you. Be sure to bring up any expectations you have. Do you expect guests to only come over weekends? Do you expect the temperature in the house to be warm? Cold? Medium? Things may seem trivial, but they are important.

(2) If a problem develops, tackle it head on. I know conflict can be difficult, and frankly no one loves dealing with conflict (however, if you do, I applaud you). Conflict can be awkward, uncomfortable, and force us to reflect on our own behavior. However, if you let issues bubble and fester, you’ll be worse off. If something is upsetting you, be honest. After all, even if the conversation doesn’t go perfectly, it’s still better than saying nothing and then blind sighting you roommates when you finally have enough.

(3) Be inclusive, and don’t withdraw. Everyone has different ways of living, and even existing. I think something I consider when living with people is how I’d want them to treat me. It’s good to invite the roommates, even if you think they don’t want to go to something. If you actually, fully invite them, maybe they’ll surprise you! It’s better to be inclusive than exclusive. I also feel that if there’s something wrong, you should deal with. The last thing that’s going to help something is withdrawing from the situation. If you stop spending any time interacting with your roommate(s), the situation will just get worse and worse.

(4) If a conversation let something unclear, ask them to clarify. I hate miscommunication, but I hate it even more when it could be avoided. If you have a conversation with your roommate, and walk away feeling bad about something, re-discuss the issue. You both could have walked away from the conversation with completely different perceptions of how it went or what the agreement you came to was. Clarification is key to making sure communication is actually effective.

(5) Be active in trying to build a strong relationship. From my experience, the best roommates are those who actively try to maintain a good, open relationship. When roommates don’t work, it’s typically because there is no actual relationship there other than a living arrangement. If you live in a house, make sure you’re making time a few times or at least once a week to do something as roommates without anyone else. It’s important to get to know each other. And the more you invest, the happier you’ll be and the easier it’ll be to deal with things when the arrangement is having some issues.

(6) Know each others schedules, and respect them. Everyone operates differently. I think it’s important to respect that people are different and that each roommate may do things a bit differently. Try to be respectful if you’re a night owl and your roommate is an early riser (and vice versa).

(7) Talk about guests. Guests, in my time as an RA, were the top reason roommate situations failed. You should feel comfortable in your space, and if people are constantly trekking in and out, that may not be easy. At the same time, if you’re a social butterfly who needs to be around people, you may not want to room with someone who prefers a less-filled social calendar. There is, however, compromise, and it’s essential. Talk about what’s acceptable. If one roommate really prefers to study during the week, maybe don’t have people over to your place. At the same time, the quiet roommate should be okay with having people over at least a few weekends. Talking openly about guests is key. It’s also important you ask before inviting people over. This isn’t a restriction, rather it’s a courtesy! It’s also important to be very clear in what having people over will entail. Again, in my time as an RA, I saw so many people move because of tension over guests, so don’t let this ruin what could otherwise be a great arrangement!

(8) If necessary, set household guidelines. I’ve heard people shun the prospect of actually making guidelines and setting hard rules, but I’ve also seen doing this turn a horrible roommate situation into a great situation. I think if this is really out of character for you, it can be modified so it’s not super concrete, but still communicates the expectations of all members of the living situation.

I’ve only shared 8 tips, but there are obviously a ton more. If you have specific questions, feel free to email me, and I can offer advice!

How do you live well with another person?

Truly,
Callie leigh

College: Making the Most of Four Years

Hello, World.

Most of you are probably either nearing the end of your first semester of college, or somewhere in the midst of your college experience. Where ever you are in your college journey, it’s not too late to begin really making sure you are making the most of your four years.

When I started college, I felt like it would take forever. I thought four years would last so long, and I’d have all this time to accomplish so many things. However, college went faster than I ever expected. So, I want to share with you my top tips for making the absolute most of your four years, and really enjoying the last time in your life where responsibility, for the most part, seems not as serious.

music festivaloutfits foroctober.jpg1. Get involved. My number one tip will always be the same. Getting involved is so profoundly important. I don’t think my college experience would be even a shadow of what it was if it wasn’t for the ways I got involved. I wrote for my school newspaper, I was a Resident Advisor, I was a Weekend of Welcome Leader, I worked for the Academic Honor Council. I was involved in various aspects of my campus life, and I appreciated what that offered me. If you’re struggling with college, getting involved is an immediate way to start feeling like you have a voice, like you are part of the community, and like you can make a change.

2. Make time to develop friendships. I miss the days where I could run downstairs and see my RA duty team, I miss the days where I had 40 people down the hall. I miss having hour to 2-hour conversations over coffee with my closest friends. I miss Friday nights with Chinese food and wine and Gilmore Girls with my best friend. BUT, I wouldn’t miss those things if I didn’t invest substantial time into cultivating and growing friendships throughout my four years.

3. Make a list of must-dos. I had a list of things I felt I absolutely needed to do while in college in order to leave feeling accomplished. I ticked off everything but studying abroad for my college’s January Term (one of the downsides to being an RA). I think having definite things that you want to accomplish is a great way to start! And I think there’s this amazing feeling when you check on the items on your list off.

4. Expose yourself to people unlike you. I think something that helped me learn so much about myself, my world, and my life is the exposure I had to people so different from myself. I come from a very homogenous hometown, where many people are religiously, politically, financially, and racially the same. Opening myself up to many different people who had lives, thought, and beliefs different from my own was one of the more rewarding aspects of my college experience. I recommend going through college with an open mind, and open heart, and the desire to have open dialogue.

5. Live on campus. Living on campus may seem frustrating (those pesky RAs down the hall telling you be quiet and not drink underage, the shared washer/dryer situation, the smells, etc.) BUT I think it’s a really really great way to meet people, keep informed about on campus activities, and feel connected to the community. I had friends who moved off campus, and they liked it, but they also complained about not know about things (like when tickets to our biggest basketball game went one sale). Living on campus is rewarding, and I highly recommend it!

6. Go to class. I know college is all about skipping class and taking naps through class and all that jazz. However, you’re paying quite a pretty penny to be in college. You get so much more our of the experience if you consistently go to class. So, go to class!

7. Explore your college town. I definitely miss the area I went to college in, but I’m thankful that I spent four years making not only my college but the town feel like home. I think exploring the surrounding area makes you feel less like you’re in a small college bubble.

8. Find your passion. College is a fun time to explore things you have an interest in. Explore life, take classes you find mildly interesting, and see what makes you happy. Though my college classes and activities I found my passion for law, and decided to go to law school. You never know what you’re going to discover.

9. If you find a calling, go to it. Sometimes things pull us in a direction that we can’t explain, but I feel it’s important that we follow it. There are things I was involved in that didn’t necessarily think were the best choice for me, but ended up being super rewarding.

10. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I think I was hyper-focused on the next step, rather than just enjoying every moment. So, to all of you in college, enjoy it. Take moments to enjoy it. Take moments to relax, take moments to go out with friends. Do your work, but sometimes it’s okay to attend a sporting event or on campus play and worry about reading later. Don’t be too focused on what’s next. Before you know it, you’ll forget to live.

Truly,
Callie leigh

Getting Candid about Imposter Syndrome

Hello, World.

A few weeks ago I went to a luncheon on imposter syndrome, and it really struck a cord. My friends who are also in law school or continuing their education in some other way have mentioned feeling imposter syndrome before many times. Prior to applying to law school, I wasn’t overly aware of imposter syndrome. Sure, I had feelings of self-doubt, and sometimes felt like I was stumbling through things, and just getting lucky when something worked out. But lately, the feelings of self-doubt are more present. They’re more consistently floating through my mind, and some days I feel like maybe I’ve made a mistake in pursuing law, and I should be doing something different. However, I think there are ways to combat imposter syndrome that allow you to embrace insecurity while still pursuing your dreams.

Getting Candid about.jpg

I think a common pitfall of imposter syndrome is comparison. I end up comparing myself to so many people, even when I consciously remind myself that it’s unhealthy and that I shouldn’t. It’s so easy to end up comparing yourself to others. Whether its in the morning, while you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, and seeing people whose lives seem too perfect, or whether it’s when you’re sitting in class, and everyone seems to be understanding while the information is passing through your head like Latin, or maybe you compare yourself to others while just walking around, seeing people who you perceive as skinnier or prettier than you. Whatever form comparison takes, you end up doing it. And sometimes it can just amplify any feelings you’re already having about not being good enough or feeling like you’re not actually supposed to be where you are.

I asked a few friends recently how they would define imposter syndrome. One texted me back and said, “It’s the feeling that you’re here on a fluke. Like you’re faking it and everyone else has their shit together and knows what they are doing.” And I actually sighed a sigh of relief because it was so on point, and made me feel like maybe other people are feeling it too. Another friend said, “You think you’re not really there by merit and everyone else is floating by and you’re out of place.” The worst part of imposter syndrome is feeling like you’re the only one feeling it, when in reality there are so many people who feel that way.

Academia was not something I was born into. Being naturally smart wasn’t something I considered myself to be when I was young. I struggled, I got tutors, I took reading comprehension classes, I took LSAT prep classes, and I studied hard because it wasn’t easy, not because I just enjoy studying so hard. Yes, I love academia, and I love learning, but sometimes I felt like links were missing when I was growing up, and it was hard for me to fully comprehend every little intricacy put in front of me. I was the first of 15 grandchildren to graduate a four year university in four years. When I learned to read, that’s all I did. I taught myself a lot, like how to use a computer. In my family, academia was encouraged, but wasn’t necessarily expected, especially not at the level I wanted to achieve it. So, I always felt a bit disadvantaged. I felt like maybe everyone else was getting something I wasn’t. But then I realized that that’s not true. We all have so much to offer, and we have so many things that make us individually strong. But, when we are in situations, like law school or college or our new job, it’s so easy to feel inadequate and feel like you’re an imposter in the situation. You’re playing dress up, but you’ll wake up tomorrow and this won’t be your life. When you get hired for that job, or get the promotion you’ve been working so hard for, don’t question it. I know, if you’re like me, you will, but TRY to force yourself to just accept it and be thankful.

Truly,
Callie leigh

This is Adulthood?

Hello, World.

As a recent college grad, and a new law student, I find myself going “so this is adulthood? Interesting.” When we’re little we all think people in their early twenties are so old and mature and must have their whole lives planned and figured out. Well, we are sorely mistaken. Most young adults don’t know what the hell they’re doing. And even if we do, we’re just faking it because we don’t know what else to do. A guy I go to school with said the other day, “I think I’m winging law school.” And I quickly responded, “Aren’t we all?” None of know how to kill law school. We read, we brief, we read, we brief, we go to bar review, and we repeat because we’re just trying to get it done. Elle Woods made law school look like something you can master quickly and without guidance. While I love Legally Blonde, I now want to yell at the screen, “It’s a trap!” because Elle Woods would not have transitioned so easily into such a new, scary environment. Don’t think this is only true for law school, either, most young adults are struggling to some degree to fully know what’s up.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN.jpg
For those still in college, be sure to enjoy the freedom. You’re an adult, but you aren’t as expected to have your s*it together. Come spring of your senior year, the question “so, what’s next for you after graduation?” becomes as common as “how’s the weather?” You’re expected to know what you’re doing. You’re expected to have it all figured out, when in reality it’s completely okay to say, “I have no idea.” I think for a lot of graduates who move home after they cross the stage in their cap and gown, and don’t immediately find employment, it feels like adulthood hasn’t started. There’s a weird limbo period between college and adulthood. Adulthood still seems like its far away. It’s like when we were little and we’d try on our mother’s heels, waiting for the day we could wear them for real. I still don’t feel like I’m really ready to wear those heels yet. Sure, we’re making moves toward adulthood, but it still doesn’t feel totally real yet.

I keep seeing people my age getting engaged and married, and I have moments where I think, “but we’re still so young…” and then I think, “Maybe I should be looking for someone to settle down with?” And then I laugh because I am in no way ready to have a full fledged, marriage status relationship with another person when I’m still figuring out myself. Adulthood begins at 18, technically speaking, but I think in many ways true adulthood sinks in for people at different times. The years in college are like a grace period, where we can stumble around in those too-big shoes, and try to pretend like we’re so mature and self-sufficient, but we’re still a bit limited by familial obligations and expectations. College allows you to figure a lot out, but it by no means lets you figure out everything. The years immediately after college, depending on your path, feel more like adolescence, when we can pull off our mom’s shoes, but they still don’t totally fit. It’s about solidifying all that college taught us. It’s about figuring out what we even want to do. A good amount of people don’t put their college majors to immediate use in their first job. You don’t have to. Spent four years studying philosophy to go work for the government? Totally fine. While you can pull off the shoes, it’s okay to exchange them for other shoes until you find the right fit.

I think, to stick with the shoe analogy, adulthood is fumbling around until you find the perfect shoe (whatever that looks like, whether the shoe is actually the perfect job, or the perfect marriage, or the perfect city). Once you find the shoe, you have to spend some time breaking it in. Shoes aren’t normally comfortable right away, but they get more comfortable over time. So, all of this to say that adulthood is not turning a certain age, and waking up to find all your sh*t together, and that you’re working your perfect job, in your ideal city, with a beautiful home, and the perfect spouse and kids and picket fence. No, adulthood is a stumbling process that takes time, and that never really ends. Haven’t you heard all the new parents who say, “what did we get ourselves into?” “Am I doing this right?” Every time we think we have something under control, another variable enters the equation that throws off all calculations, and gives us a blister that we have to figure out. We can plan, and we can anticipate, and hell, we can even tell people we know what we’re doing, but it’s okay if we don’t.

How are you dealing with adulthood?

Truly,
Callie leigh