Friday 18th March 2022
To begin, here’s a quote I found that inspired me to write this post: It doesn’t matter how other people view, what matters is how you view yourself – Jean-Luc Godard
Part of the human condition – or rather, the Western human condition – is to worry about what others may think of you. It’s a horrible trait that we all have which takes a lot to suppress. Unfortunately it has become part of the Western culture and society. We feel like we have to live up to some standards set by society. Thus, we are damaging only ourselves in this process as we, the West, are the ones who set ourselves these impossible high expectations.
Recently I have been struggling with the concept of living up to some society’s standards. I am a university student who currently does not enjoy the partying and the drinking. Don’t get me wrong, I will happily meet you for cocktails and gins on a weekend, or a quick pint at the pub after work in the week, but I don’t like clubbing or parties at the moment; I hate the social anxiety I get each time I go out, and the lack of control. I almost feel ashamed to admit that. Why? Society has drilled it into our minds that a typical university student is someone, especially a fresher, who sleeps in all day, eats crap and parties five days a week. I enjoyed that during Fresher’s Week and the first few weeks of university. Now, I’m drained and fed up of the anxiety I feel the next morning.
I spoke to a friend about this. He was the one that brought up this idea of standardised ideals. He opened my eyes to the idea that I don’t have to live up to anything. If I don’t want to go out, or go to an event that I’ve been dreading due to my daily-growing social anxiety, I don’t have to. Why do something you don’t enjoy?
I also brought up to him the fact that I don’t feel like I fit in with the flat. I like being in bed by 10pm, while they stay up to sunrise! And it is because of these societal standards that I feel ‘ashamed’ to be different. My friend assured me that the flat still appreciate me and think I’m a great person, even if I do go home a lot and spend time alone.
Societal standards have imprinted on me so much, been drilled into my mind, that I feel this way. That’s sad, isn’t it, that we can this effect on ourselves – our own community can have this much influence in our anxiety and daily tribulations. We need to start accepting each other for our own quirks and traits. On top of this, we individually need to learn that it doesn’t matter in the slightest what others think of you – just be you.