When it came time to register for classes for spring semester, I didn't know what I was doing. I only needed to take two more classes. However, people apparently think I need to be a full time student to keep my scholarship and financial aid, thus I began searching the school website for random classes that would make my total credit hours sum up to a total of twelve. My two thoughts while searching for these random classes were 1) sign up for fun and interesting classes, and 2) sign up for classes that will be an easy A.
So I signed up for billiards because I had always wanted to take it. Then I signed up for intro to religious studies because I heard it was easy and engaging. Then I signed up for social deviance because I am apparently obsessed with criminal behavior and the professor teaching it is one of my favorites. Then I signed up for some English class because English comes to me easier than most subjects.
But weeks later, flurries of emails made it to my inbox alerting me that I couldn't take that English class because it was only for English majors. They demanded I drop it or they would drop me instead, and while I was made out to be the criminal, I was just wondering why the heck they gave me the go to register for it in the first place. Not my fault. When I pushed that register button, why in the world didn't red lights flash and words come across my screen saying, BOO, SUCKER! YOU AREN'T AN ENGLISH MAJOR! DO NOT PASS GO! DO NOT COLLECT TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!
So I obeyed the English masters and dropped the class. Then I worriedly and anxiously searched for another class that could give me my full time student status. All the somewhat easy classes were full and had long waiting lists. I started to panic. Then I cursed the law makers of University rules because all I really wanted was to take another journalism class, but apparently my JCOM classes are maxed out. Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Limit me from learning more about my trade. Ugh.
Then I found a women & leadership class that was only once a week. And I thought to myself, "Hmm, once a week. It can't be too hard. What the heck. Let's light things on fire, twirl our panties around, and bash on men." So I signed up for it.
Now it turns out, I think I was meant to take this class all along. It is nothing like I thought it would be. I am not just sliding by, wanting a grade. It's something I've discovered I am passionate about. And we don't sit in class on Wednesday evenings and act like we are picked on because we are females. We discuss things that are empowering. We talk about problems and how to overcome them. We learn leadership skills and how to use the fact that we are women to our advantage. We talk about how we can better support and embrace the women around us. Turns out, I love this stuff. It's made me take a step back and look into my soul, and then made me take a step forward and look into the souls of my fellow-women.
In class, we recently took a silencing the self test and it turns out, I silence myself a lot more than I thought I did. Sure, I have strong opinions on subjects. And sure, I probably blog about things that make people roll their eyes and shake their heads. But the thing is, I have a bad habit of closing off my innermost feelings. And when I want to express how I feel, I stop myself out of the fear of hurting someone's feelings. I do like this about myself; that I am sentimental toward others. However, I do an unhealthy amount of it. I always worry about others' feelings at the expense of my own. So I am working on it. I am trying to say and do what I feel is best, even if it means I might be judged for it. And on the other hand, I am trying to do a better job of not doing the judging myself. It's quite interesting because the men actually don't hold women back as much as we may think. We as women do the holding back. We hold ourselves back and if we aren't holding ourselves back, we justify belittling and holding back other women.
Because of this class, wheels are turning in my head and ideas are forming. I want to help women come together to celebrate this beautiful thing we have in common, this thing we call womanhood. I don't know how I want to do that, but I know I already have strengthened a part of myself because of this class. I am learning more and more every day how special it is to be a woman and that God loves me and knows I am capable.
Around the same time we took the silencing the self test, we also watched a PBS documentary on Eleanor Roosevelt. Watch it if you get the chance. No matter your political opinions, you can't deny the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt was an incredible lady. Her life was actually quite dark and depressing. She was shy. But she learned how to speak and instill hope and happiness into others, and I think that's just grand. So if Eleanor did it, then I can too. And so can you, and you, and you!