By: Ruby Thompson
“In-Betweener?” My mom questioned.
“Yup. That’s exactly what I am.” And at that point, I was convinced that was all I’d ever be.
Okay, yes, in-betweener is a totally made up word. But it describes exactly how I felt all throughout high school and exactly how thousands of other high school kids feel. I wasn’t the best player on the team, but I wasn’t dragging us down either. I took some really hard classes, but I also took some really easy ones. I did well in the things I tried, but I was never “the best” at absolutely anything. I was the poster child of mediocrity – or so I thought.
This deep-rooted feeling of being ordinary turned that “leadership” section of college applications into a nightmare. I never tried to be in charge of anything because I truly believed I was better off being told what to do. Once someone told me what to do, I knew I could do a great job. But nothing inside of me made me feel that I had any authority to make big decisions. And that was exactly my problem.
What makes the president of the recycling club or the captain of the football team’s ideas better than yours? You could – and probably do – have the exact same ideas as the person in charge of you. The only difference is that they took the initiative and had the confidence to put their ideas out there. Once you get past your belief that your ideas aren’t good enough or that someone else could do better, you’ll see that “leadership” section fill up and feel an overwhelming confidence in everything you do.
It took me until I graduated high school and went off to college to realize my potential and understand that my success was in my own hands. I was in charge, and I began to lead myself through my exhausting and exhilarating freshman year. I set out to make new friends, get good grades, and get as involved as possible. I suddenly became the leader in group projects and a leading voice in class discussions. I stepped out from between the shadows and showed my true colors.
Don’t let the comfort of being an in-betweener keep you from stepping up to the plate. Get out there and take charge. I don’t see myself as an in-betweener anymore – and neither should you.
Have confidence and stand behind everything you do. Start by getting out of your comfort zone and out of the in-between. You’ll be thankful that you did.