Engaged in Transition

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Princess Diaries

Sometime when you want to have an existential crisis try to capture everything you are on a piece of paper. (It’s harder than it sounds.) I’m working on a project in my advanced design class to create a personal brand. All I have to do is capture the essence of who I am, what I do, and why I do it. Sounds easy, right? It is, until you are sitting looking at a blank paper wondering who you are and what you are good at.

I have a bad habit of undervaluing myself, and the work that I’m capable of. When people compliment me, I have trouble responding. I don’t want to sound egotistical, but I also know that I work hard, and I appreciate recognition. I spent 45 minutes in a professor’s office this past week talking about the “real world” and job applications. I have struggled a lot with how to market what I do, and what I’m good at. Consequently, I’ve developed a problematic mindset that my skills aren’t important, or aren’t really useful, or aren’t good enough. I’m not going to grad school, I’m not doing research (it’s just not my thing), and even though many of my peers have jobs lined up, I don’t. I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer, and what I did have, I didn’t think was especially attractive to the market I’m looking to enter.

In scrolling Princess Diaries memes as all productive people do, I found one that read “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I realized that was exactly my problem. I was letting others, and myself, convince me that I was inferior. It took watery eyes in a professor’s office to help me to realize that I’m valuable, and my skill set is valuable.

This week I learned another valuable “college life lesson.” Learn how market yourself by being confident that you have value to offer. No matter what that may be. I don’t care if you are an expert taco eater, be proud of that. Own who you are and be shameless of your talents. Our society doesn’t do a great job of defining the fine line between self-pride and egotism. Being proud of who you are and what you can do isn’t being narcissistic. That is how to succeed.

– Delyn Bull

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