This semester at school I’ve been struggling. My grades have been fine just like last year, but I think the sophomore slump has hit and it’s hit hard. In short, I’ve stopped believing that what I have to say is worth hearing.

I came from a small high school with lots of rah-rah feminist spirit. In a classroom of 9-18 other girls that I had known for years, my opinion counted. I rarely had a doubt. I was never the loudest in the room, but when I had something to share I didn’t hesitate. I’m immensely grateful that in the fragile years of my middle school and high school experience I was given a space where I felt (at least for 70 min, 4x a day) that my words had weight.

And yet…

Now, as a small fish in a big pond, I fret.

Last year it wasn’t nearly as bad. My one discussion section had a great, enthusiastic teacher and the books we were reading were well in my comfort zone. Now, however, I’m stuck in a class where philosophy is debated and I sit there with my head moving back and forth as if I’m watching a ping-pong match that I am completely removed from. I am almost always silent.

I don’t know what to contribute because I don’t believe I have the capacity of my peers to think the way they do.

Half of me knows that this insecurity is bs. I am smart, I am capable, I take vigorous notes and do well on my essays.

The other half of me, however, is more convincing. Maybe my whole education up to this year has been sheltering. Maybe now for the first time I’m in the real world where, tbh, your opinion isn’t all that relevant/important/groundbreaking. Maybe everyone else here knows what’s up and you just need to take a seat and listen. Maybe all you have to contribute in this classroom and in the world is nods and quizzical looks. Maybe that’s just about all you’re capable of.

Almost everyday I leave this 2hr class completely disheartened, upset and even at times holding back tears.

Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas and Locke – you have stolen my voice, smashed a decent portion of my self worth.

I still can’t tell if this was a much needed wake-up call or a cruel thing to do to a girl exiting her teenage years with trepidation.

Regardless, I think this blog will be a way to slowly take back some of my voice on a platform where I am more comfortable voicing my ideas/thoughts/self.

And while I’m still unsure about how private/public this blog will become, I hope you – the other insecure, sentimental, inquisitive, disoriented twentyteen – will come along for the ride.



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