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My journey to becoming myself

May 14, 2015

 

KELSY KERSHAW 

KERSHAW

KERSHAW

Features Editor

 

No feminist or inequality remarks lay below. What you’re about to read are my emotions in their rawest and most vulnerable form.

 

Those who know me know the emotion I’m capable of expressing. I’m the queen of sappy and could probably trademark sentimentality because I’m that good at it. However, I’m not as good with sadness or weakness. I don’t like it when others see me struggle.

 

These past couple of days my emotional struggle has been real strong, though. As I’ve reflected back on my last four years, I shed tears with a smile.

 

The growth I’ve experienced, the obstacles I’ve overcome, the goals I’ve achieved and the lifelong friendships I’ve made have all been insurmountable.

 

As a freshman, I came to Louisiana Tech a stranger to Ruston, only having been here once or twice before. I didn’t know a soul; even my roommate was an unfamiliar face. I was shy, sheltered and naïve, and completely unaware of the extent to which my life was going to change.

 

During my first fall quarter, as I was getting acclimated to my new life, I cried a lot. Yet every time someone asked how I was adjusting I’d plaster a smile on my face and paint a perfect picture of a story. I didn’t want anyone to know how hard it was for me.

 

Not only was I shy, I was reserved. Having accepted a bid into my sorority, I watched my pledge class sisters immediately start to form close relationships. I felt like I would never find my place, or my own group of friends, to call home.

 

Then sophomore year I joined the Tech Talk. I had no idea that those loud, obnoxious and intimidating people would become my family. Now, they are people that I couldn’t imagine life without.

 

My Tech Talk family, along with my group of best friends (I did end up finding them), have held my hand through the insecurities, the late work nights, the stress, the laughs, the all-nighters, the memorable weekends—everything that has influenced the woman I am now.

 

Four years ago I would have crawled under a rock at the thought of voicing my true feelings; now I have the courage to publish them.

 

I’ve learned not to be ashamed of my emotions, and not to run from them, but embrace them, because they are what make me beautiful.

 

I tell this to you not to whine, or even to brag, but to inspire. Don’t bottle your negative emotions to appear perfectly happy all the time; it’s unrealistic and exhausting. It’s also OK to be vulnerable. When we’re vulnerable is when we’re at our greatest discretion to grow. Trust me, because I’m proof; I’m leaving Tech a completely different person than who I was when I got here.

 

In the next two weeks, I say goodbye to my family, goodbye to my friends, and goodbye to Louisiana as I begin the journey that is the rest of my life.

 

My tears are dropping but my smile is gleaming because I’m leaving with more than two degrees; I’m leaving with (having found) myself.

 

Kelsy Kershaw is a senior journalism and FMRS double major from Jennings, La. Email comments to kjk016@latech.edu.

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