I’m pretty sure I should start a podcast called “Kaitlyn Does Awkward Things Every Day.” This week alone, I’ve walked in on one of my friends breaking up with her boyfriend (and stayed for several minutes before realizing what was happening), responded to two people that were not talking to me, and tripped over my feet going up the stairs. My brain often goes twice as fast as my mouth which can lead to some embarrassing situations. One of my personal favorite slip-ups was when someone told me they liked my hat in the hallway. I enthusiastically said, “Okay!” instead of thanking him.

Life is full of uncomfortable situations. If you have watched any coming-of-age movies ever, you’ll know that the teen years especially tend to be painfully awkward. High school is a cesspool teeming with humiliation and weirdness. We’re all just trying to do our best, but in reality, we’re just kids with too many hormones and not enough impulse control. Mix in a little self-consciousness, acne, and general confusion about what-the-heck-you’re-doing-with-your-life, and you have a recipe for disaster.

What I’ve realized over the past few months is that everyone is so preoccupied with their own mistakes that they couldn’t care less about that time you accidentally faceplanted in the middle of a crosswalk. That’s the great thing about awkwardness: everyone experiences it. The person you think is way cooler than you in every way possible is worried about what they texted their crush. The guy sitting next to you in the library is freaking out because he turned in a document without changing the teacher’s name from “Mr. Whatshisface.” The girl in your chemistry class is internally screaming because she dropped her lunch tray in front of the whole cafeteria last week. We try to avoid awkwardness so much that we end up getting in worse situations half the time. In order to confront embarrassing situations, we have to realize that they don’t just happen to us.

Life is awkward ー and that’s okay. The awkward, embarrassing, awful experiences we have now will turn into hilarious stories later. It can be a reminder of how you’ve grown, what you’ve been through, and the risks you’ve taken. Just think: in thirty years you’ll be teaching your kids how life goes on, no matter how horrendously you messed up your English presentation. Screwing up is essential for you to become better. So, the next time you walk into a table while staring at the boy you’ve been in love with for three years, choose to take it as a lesson instead of the end of your social life.

Photo by Hannah Loesch

Kaitlyn Massey

Kaitlyn Massey

Kaitlyn Massey, an opinionated opinion writer and co-host of the Island Girls podcast, has been with The Seahawk Journal since 2017. She enjoys politics, art, TED talks, and music.

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3 Comments

  1. Life really is awkward, sometimes to the point where you get self conscious about the way you walk to the point you run into a telephone pole staring at your feet. It’s nice to read that there are more people that feel awkward and not just me! Also, I would love to listen to “Kaitlyn Does Awkward Things Every Day.” Sounds like a fun podcast! Keep writing though!

    -Anonymouse

    1. I’m going to be honest, adults are awkward, too. I can’t tell you how many times I go home and wonder, “Did you really say that in front a group of teenagers?” Perhaps one of the reasons why teachers gravitate toward school careers is that they feel at home with that awkwardness.

  2. I can totally relate to this, every day I feel as if I messed something up- and I go over it in my head again and again, until I realize that life isn’t about the past, it’s about what you’ve learned from your mistakes, and that’s how you grow as a person!

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