Don’t beat yourself up, just BE yourself

column by elliemulligan

Fears. I’ve had a lot of them in my time here at Marian. And any student who you ask is guaranteed to have a healthy abundance of fears, too. But when I first came to Marian, I feared everything.

I was scared of discipline points, accidentally wearing white socks (shoutout to Principal Sullivan for making them legal again), and being called on in math and shouting out the wrong answer.

To sum it up, I was absolutely terrified of embarrassing myself. Which is completely natural–nobody likes to be embarrassed. When you’re trying to avoid attention, you like to fly under the radar.

What you’ll learn in your time at Marian is that all of the fears you have aren’t invalid–they’re just products of your own anxiety. Marian gives us a safe environment to try new things and maybe fall flat, but be okay with it. You learn how to be comfortable with messing up, and learn to how use it as an opportunity to learn and laugh it off.

Freshman year, I walked up behind a senior in the quad and hugged her from behind because I thought she was my friend, Amalea. When I realized it wasn’t her, I was so mortified, I started crying.

Just one year later as a sophomore, I fell through — yes, through — a chair in the back of DA’s class and laughed so hard, I started crying.

By the time you’re a senior, you’ve humiliated yourself so many times that you don’t care, in fact, you look forward to the next embarrassment just so you can tell your friends the story.


Flashback to 2014 Ellie Mulligan ’17 and Kiera Leppert ’17 pose in front of freshman year Walls supplies. Photo courtesy of Elli Mulligan

High school is the perfect time to embarrass yourself, and Marian is the perfect place to be in to make a fool of yourself–there’s no better place to accidentally bear-hug a senior or fall through a chair, because there will always be people to laugh with you.

The reality is, everyone else in your theology class is just as scared as you to do those table cheers. Once you accept that a moment of discomfort doesn’t mean instant death, you become more comfortable.

There’s nothing wrong with having fears; if you had hugged a random senior and didn’t experience a substantial amount of fear, I would be worried.

And moving on from fear is all part of the process. You learn more about Marian, about your new classmates, and most importantly, about yourself.

So, nervous students across the Marian community: take a deep breath, and don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself. Don’t sweat it next time you drop your iPad down the stairs or leave your calculator in radians for an entire trig test.

Marian is the perfect place to embrace these mistakes and see that they aren’t faults, but instead, they’re what makes us unique. We can use these little slip ups as an insight into who we are.

Our mistakes shouldn’t be seen as these huge, life-altering incidents. Instead, let’s make it a mission to embrace our embarrassments and use our experiences as things that boost our friendship and confidence!

At the end of the day, you will be just fine. Go for it: laugh when the iPad falls down the stairs, and when you call a teacher “mom”. Laugh it off when you show up to school 20 minutes late with your skirt on backwards; looking back on it, we can use the laughable moments to make happier memories with the people we love.

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