Nothing to Prove

by Caroline Willoughby


I just finished my freshman year at Auburn University and let me tell you it was everything and more but, let’s get real:

Entering college is like entering a foreign land. A land full of beautiful creatures you never knew existed. It is both exciting and crippling.

We walk out of high school ready, many of us more than ready, to start new. We are told again and again, “college will be the best years of your life”, “enjoy every second of it”, “you are going to do so well”, “make the most of it”. So, I was prepared.

I walked into college ready to do it and do it right. I was ready to show the world that I had made it. I was ready to show the new faces that I was able, wanted, and loved. I was ready to show them all that I would do it better than the rest.

And, I suppose, for a while there I did. I made it possible to balance not trying too hard and trying hard enough. I found a way to let all of my followers know that I was having the time of my life. I even found a way to look good for my 8 am every single day. I was able to “prove” I had it all together.

Well, I am here to tell you, I was wrong. In fact, I was sorely mistaken -- being “on” all the time is not normal. Having it all together is not real. If you believe that that girl ‘woke up like this’ you are wrong (you know the one).

No one ever tells you how hard it is. You walk out of high school having worked your butt off for 4 years to make sure everyone knows who you are only to walk onto new grounds. On these new grounds no one knows, in fact no one cares what you were before. Now you’re only defined by the present. All of a sudden, all that matters is the way that you view, respect and love yourself. You start at ground zero with everyone else.

So, what was I doing? This game of proving myself to the world is being watched by no one…

I am a strong woman. Why do I need to prove that?

I love to love life, not the pictures of my life.

I enjoy learning, my GPA cannot define that.

I am doing well in college; my resume does not create that.

truth: Everything doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be succeeding. You don’t have to make sure everyone else knows your happy to really be happy. People don’t have to know who you are if you know who you are. You have nothing to prove.

dare: Go out into the world and do things your way. Know that the way you live is the right way because you say it is. Allow the knowledge that you are able, wanted, and loved to empower you to be the best version of yourself.

Yes, this year was the best year of my life thus far but not until I realized that I wanted to live my life for me. It is a daily battle to remind myself that when I wake up at 7:55 and walk into class at 8 a.m. with disheveled hair, not an ounce of makeup on, headphones in, diet coke in hand I have no reason not to feel confident in myself. I do not need to prove to anyone that I am doing it right. This is my version of living.


Caroline WilloughbyComment