This school is 70-80% boys. Consequently, my friends at this school are roughly 70-80% boys. The nice thing about hanging out with a bunch of boys is that it forces me to think for myself.
While I do intend that last statement to be a bit anti-boy, it is primarily there because it is true.
I suppose I’ve always thought for myself, in some regard. I’ve certainly always been independent. The difference this semester is that thinking for myself is something I am dependent on, rather than just something that’s fun to do. I don’t have that base of friends full of feminine insight to go to when I need it. I have myself, and guess what, children, that is pretty damn good. That gets me somewhere.
So, here are a few brief pointers that have been keeping me going this semester, in the form of an internet-worthy list. It’s not an end-all guide, but rather just a few things off the top of my head:
- Read. Spend time thinking. Look up interesting ideas. Engage your mind, because someone has to.
- Find female role models. Women who would stand in your place, laugh, and agree that it’s just further proof that all boys are dumb in some way, most boys are dumb in a lot of ways. I’ve been more and more intrigued by Coco Chanel these past few weeks, which also complements the French I’ve been learning. Even just finding ideas that are generated by women for the benefit of other women goes a long way. Think Ted-Talk-style ideas, within the loose genres of feminism, independence, and growing up. Sometimes I let myself be my role model: I think about my future self as I would like to see her, and let that guide me.
- Prioritize the females in your life, but make sure they are quality. Recognize that sometimes there is that male friend who is worth prioritizing, just as there are those female friends who are not. It takes time to learn who is who, but prioritizing females is a good starting point.
- Lower your expectations. Do not lower your standards. This is where depending on yourself becomes vital, because you are responsible, on your own, for filling in the area in-between. This is the reason I am writing this post. My expectations have more or less plummeted in the past few months, and my standards have not (thank the lord). To keep your standards at a proper height, you have to be able to hold them there. For me, this means understanding that most people, women included, are going to let you down. Expect that this will happen and prepare for it; notice when it doesn’t happen.
When other people aren’t worth the while, my time is best invested in myself.
Areas for improvement, again off the top of my head:
- Be assertive. Sometimes ça ne va pas. Sometimes ce que ton camarade a fait n’est pas bon. Sometimes il faut demander plus respect.
- Keep my posts from becoming too pretentious.