All my life I have been known as the good girl and I am sick of it. I mean being a good girl is fine and all but the label and way of thinking has held me back in life. Since I was little I have always followed the rules, done the right thing, been honest, helped people out, earned good grades etc. Guess where all of the above got me? It got me nowhere, nada, nothing. For my whole life I have done the right thing, followed the straight and narrow path, didn’t party too hard, helped friends, and have been there for people that I maybe shouldn’t have.
For some reason, actually a few of them, I loathe this label. Certain circumstances in my life have caused me to reflect on my journey and where I am at now. Looking back I realized that I missed out on tons of experiences, connections with people, and self and career growth due to this so called label which at the time I did not realize was effecting me this much. I guess it was so natural for me to do the right things and stay on the right path that I never wanted to deviate from it. It made for a miserable time at college where I put studies before most things except family and health which caused me to be a quasi loner, good girl, and innocent one. I’m not knocking being a good girl or doing the correct thing in situations but it is ok to leave the safe path and venture out into unknown territory. This is a hard knock lesson that I realized too late in life and am one hundred percent kicking myself in the rear now. I was so afraid to stray or forgo a night of studying to meet friends at a party or say no when someone was clearly taking advantage of my time. But all of that is in the past and I can only move forward from this point on. I needed to make peace with my past and start anew, open a blank page, start a new chapter in my life. That all began when I left undergrad, moved back home, and started grad school. Only then did I start to take some risks and truly living life.
For the sake of posterity below you will find what I have learned from being a good girl pretty much my whole life.
Lessons from a Good Girl
- It’s ok to say no to others and be a bit selfish with your time. I always went out of my way to help people or offer advice but nothing would ever be reciprocated.
- Go out to that party and forgo studying for the night. A night or two of partying is not going to put your GPA in jeopardy. So live it up with friends every once in awhile.
- Don’t be afraid to speak your mind or to speak up for yourself. A lesson it took me a very long time to learn. I used to be much quieter than I am now and this caused me to just listen instead of voicing my opinions.
- GPA and grades are not everything and should not take over your life. Another lesson learned the hard way. I was pretty much always in the library studying instead of hanging with my roommates or meeting friends. This cost me a lot of social time and missed connections in college.
- Don’t be the silent one. Often I was so afraid to speak up that I would sit quietly and listen. Speaking up is better than being the quiet church mouse. It also makes people view you differently a well.
- Always be polite, courteous, and respectful towards others. This should be life 101 but you wouldn’t believe how many people are rude.
- Confidence is key. While I was pretty sure of myself most of the time there would always be some self-doubt in the back of my mind.
- Good girls can have fun too. We don’t lack personality and are not quiet. We can be loud and outspoken for things we are passionate about, when with family and friends.
- Take a risk on love. I was so afraid to let relationships get further than they did with guys and regret it. Sometimes I thought that having a boyfriend would interfere with my schooling and would just let things drop between us. If I could go back and do things differently with some people I totally would.
- Be spontaneous. Throw caution to the wind and just do something fun or unordinary. It took me quite a bit of time to develop this mentality and apply it to my life. Risks and lack of routine where scary to me and would eat me alive inside. To give you a sense of this I was the Why girl. I always had to ask why is this happening, what will happen next, why did they do that etc. I needed the answer for everything and sometimes that was not possible.
- DO NOT let being a good girl define you! It is fine to do good things, be there for people, and play by the rules but not all the time. Change things up, be confident, be fierce, drink, curse, be spontaneous, and chuck all plans out the window for a weekend. For once, twice, there times, and more just change things up even if it’s slightly from this and you will surprise others and your self.