If given the chance to reinvent yourself, would you do it? The opportunity for self-reinvention is one of the many perks that come with starting college. What always followed “Why Brown?”, which I was asked numerous times when I committed, was: “You’re sooo lucky. You’re definitely going to reinvent yourself. Who do you want to become?”
The first version of myself I curated would satisfy the narcissistic and attention-seeking self I had first embodied during middle school. The addiction to being desired for once, to being someone’s top choice, guided the version of myself that would be invited to every good frat party, that would raise my hand in every class to the point where my professors would say: “Let’s have someone else answer the question.” I was painfully shy as a child, and obtaining the ability to speak among hundreds with ease seemed like the greatest accomplishment I could aspire to.
I would also be trailed by friends that I wasn’t close with—by those who only liked to go out or wanted to grab a quick meal together. During my angsty teen era, I never had a large friend group and always envied—often from across the cafeteria—the large bundles of students bursting with laughter and inside jokes.
I would have bangs that covered my too-round face, wear mini skirts with tights and colorful sweaters, and people would ask if my outfit inspiration came from Pinterest. Growing up, my mother often stuffed me in monochromatic clothing that made me look like a child working a nine-to-five job.
I would finally not be the one to envy others: I would be envied.
The second version of myself would be incredibly mysterious, dark academia, and always-lipsticked. Think of the incredibly alluring celebrities who you have burning questions for.
I would be unknown and sought out. People would try to piece together which dining halls I frequented, or where I went after class with only a burgundy Longchamp tote bag instead of a backpack. With my chunky midnight blue headphones, I would walk through campus with a slightly off-red lipstick painted on, the tops of my essays peeking out from my bag.
In reality, I would be tucked away in an undiscovered nook of a local coffee shop, reading for hours. I would finish (and enjoy) my schoolwork, genuinely appreciating the slides from the lecture. I would not only write my essays in a timely fashion, but I would have the time to chase after my newly-developed passions, like crocheting.
In the midst of writing my business pitch for Shark Tank, a strawberry matcha latte would appear in front of me. I’d shyly look up and the barista would point to a beautiful person on my left, radiating with mysterious energy, and we would exchange a couple of words before they’d ask me to dance later in the evening at a mysterious nightclub, beyond Brown, beyond Providence, where no one would know me. I would finally return home and sleep at 3:00 in the morning, rise again at 9:00, and repeat, replacing my outfit with a nice plum-purple cardigan and chunky Doc Martens.
However, to be completely truthful, reality doesn’t always prevail over delusions. After just two months in college, I see that bits and pieces of my dreams have come true—that they were not just a figment of my imagination.
Firstly, I do (finally) own a pair of platform Holly Doc Martens that I have yet to break in. Every day that I tremble and trip through campus is a day closer to being able to strut through the Main Green with ease. I have yet to find the right occasion to wear a miniskirt with tights, but with my new shoes, I’m unstoppable.
I’m still working up the courage to speak in my intimidating Principles of Economics lecture. But in my beloved writing workshops, I’ve found a haven among people who enjoy creative writing as much as I do, and I’m no longer burdened with having to take classes in subjects that have never resonated with me. With the abundance of concentrations and opportunities at Brown, I am incredibly happy to say that I have never been more confused about my future, but never more confident in my chances to fulfill my dreams of writing. Thanks to the clubs I’ve joined, I can also confirm that I won’t be asking the Sharks for an investment—I discovered business isn’t for me.
When spotting a familiar face on campus, instead of being intentionally mysterious, I find myself unconsciously beginning to smile. I walk to Andrews to find my friends, who complete parts of me I never knew weren’t content, and understand me without explanation. We eat lunch and debrief our minute moments with campus crushes. I have never laughed as fully as I do now with my friends, who also teach me to be optimistic, compassionate, and patient. In my short time here, I know that every one of my delusions, desires, and dreams in every world, universe, and multiverse all connect to create the truest version of myself.