I usually make meaningful resolutions. In previous years, I resolved to be kinder to myself, to stop apologizing — which, as a woman, tends to be especially hard — and to write in my journal more. All of these past promises were good. I stuck to some better than others, but they were all made with the intention to be more in touch with myself.
My resolution this year may seem silly, but it has the same purpose. I want to become a hat person. You know those people who you see wearing hats and think nothing of it? They wear them so often, and they wear them so well that it just makes sense for them to have a hat on. I want to be that person.
Why? For me, those people look confident without even trying to be. In a way, wearing a hat requires you to be physically and mentally comfortable in your own skin — you don’t need to present your face or hair to anyone, and you know there’s no doubt that anyone will question you otherwise. Even if they are just wearing a hat to hide a bad hair day, they are still confident enough in themselves and the rest of their appearance that they can put on a hat and think that people will just go with it, too. Hat-wearers have a mystique about them — by simply wearing a hat they are simultaneously shielding themselves from the public as well as making a fashion statement.
That subtle confidence is something that I have struggled with. In a lot of ways, I feel like the strong, independent woman that my mom wants me and my sisters to be. However, there are still so many things that I get nervous doing.
I am a second-semester fourth year, and I still get freaked out deciding whether or not to knock on my professor’s door or just walk in and announce myself when I go to office hours. When I have to ring the doorbell of a distant family friend, I overthink what I will say to them while waiting for someone to open the door.
Weirdly enough, though, I don’t mind confronting a boss that I believe is wrongly criticizing me. I have no problem asking my friends for help when I need it. Put side by side, it is funny how you can have both of these issues — I can be very confrontational but still be fearful to even raise my hand in class.
In college, I think we are given a generous amount of opportunities to really get to know ourselves. A lot of the time, these instances can be scary. Having alone time can be isolating but also comforting — depending on the day. 2020 demonstrated the implications of this to an extreme, of course, but college generally provides so many outlets for all of our interests. You just have to be confident enough in yourself to go out and find those outlets.
I definitely was not like the latter as a first year. I only signed up for clubs if I knew a friend was also signing up. I rushed a sorority because I thought that I would miss out if I didn’t know what the Greek life process was like. And though I did these things out of fear, I ultimately made the club volleyball team and joined a group of fun-loving ladies that altered my entire college experience. Those “outlets” turned into some of my best and easiest friendships, but I could have easily ended up without them. All because of fear.
During this pandemic, I have really worried about making friends in the future. When you aren’t in college and there aren’t so many accessible groups to join, how will I reach out to people and connect with others?
I think back on how I ended up with my friends at the University, and I realize that I connected with a few entirely by accident. Some friendships were made in the lines waiting to go inside different sororities. I found other friends in the organizations that I had joined entirely out of fear. In those instances, I wasn’t worried about being my most genuine self.
I was more worried about what people might think of me on the volleyball team I was trying out for or in the sorority I wanted to join. I wasn’t sure how I was going to gel with the already-established group. I wasn’t confident enough with myself to think that — no matter who was in those groups — I could find someone who would appreciate me for me.
As time went on, I found myself a bit more adventurous than the year before. I became the one to suggest to my friends that we try a new restaurant or reach out to someone we weren’t all that close with. I have inched my way towards being more self-assured, but I think I still have miles to go.
This year I want to do things out of confidence. I want to be confident enough to put my name into the application pool. I want to be comfortable enough to open up to new people that come into my life. I want to be more open to the possibility that things may not go according to my timeline. And I want to learn how to be myself in all of these situations.
People that wear hats have a certain confidence about them on the outside, even if they may not feel confident on the inside. They might be faking it, but they at least seem comfortable enough with themselves that they can be in an awkward or new situation and still be their authentic selves. They might even think they are hiding themselves by wearing a hat, but to me these kinds of people are not afraid to be themselves, and I want to embody this spirit — to be more comfortable with being my most genuine self in any and all circumstances.
So there you have it — my New Year’s resolution. I want to be a hat person.
Lucie Drahozal is a Life columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org