How Pocahontas Helped Me Grow Up

By: Ruby Thompson


My Pocahontas dress can be spotted in photos of me from the moment my mom bought it, to two years later when it fit more like a mini-skirt. I was absolutely in love with this dress. To avoid ever taking it off, I wore it over my pajamas.

I’m sure a four year old wearing the same costume day after day looked odd. But, my mom supported this obsession whole-heartedly (or maybe the tantrums that came along with the attempt of a change were more convincing).

When I was four years old, I mistakenly expected Pocahontas to be able to go to pre-school like everyone else. When my mom told me otherwise, I absolutely lost my mind. I was not ready to let go of such a dear part of myself.

My mom eventually had to explain to me that I had to be a “big girl” and take off the dress. Besides the fact that it was old, ragged, and did not fit properly anymore, my Pocahontas dress could not transition with me to school. It was a huge comfort for me to wear it, and pre-school was the first time I had to learn that I was not always going to be comfortable.

This experience stuck with me all the way through high school, when I was terrified to leave for college. I was comfortable at home and I was nowhere near ready to leave my family and friends. I even considered going to community college to avoid the need to leave at all.

I avoided applying, visiting, or committing to any college until the last possible moment. I refused to get excited – because I wasn’t – and could tell my parents were not satisfied with my procrastination and lack of enthusiasm. Just like my Pocahontas dress, I was not ready to leave my comfort of home.

College is – as cliché as it sounds – the best part of anyone’s life. You gain so much knowledge and the greatest experiences. I couldn’t see that at that point; I was blinded by the dread of leaving home.

When I did decide to take off my Pocahontas dress, everything was okay. Not only okay, everything was wonderful. Comforts are not necessities and they should never hold you back. Going to college was scary and uncomfortable, but it led to more amazing things than I could have ever imagined.

If you’re afraid of something, it’s most likely because you’re comfortable where you are. Don’t be afraid to let go of that comfort and leap to the unknown. Take off your Pocahontas dress and see what’s waiting for you out there.