by Christina Abel
People have made millions writing about this topic.
But as an 18 year old kid who hasn’t even gone through a semester of college, I would not dare call myself qualified to tell other people how to let go (for money, at least).
I, myself, am still trying to figure that out.
But nevertheless, here we are.
This is my small letting go experience, and to preface all of it I want to clarify that I am in no way a hairdresser.
But let’s start over.
This is a phrase you hear much too often as a rising college freshman. Letting go of your family, your friends, your significant other, pets, the very town you grew up in. etc.
People tried to hand this phrase to me, and I, knowing my entire situation, laughed internally and gave it back.
I knew I was not letting go.
I was moving fifteen minutes away from the house I had spent my entire life in, meaning I was neither letting go of my family nor pet. I was dorming with my best friend of ten years, and my boyfriend was moving to a college not two hours away. Once again, everything I ever had stayed right within my range.
People had many different reactions when I relayed this. Some being optimistic, saying how nice it was that I was keeping everything familiar and close. Others had more negative responses, saying how I wasn’t broadening my horizons enough.
Did staying in my comfort zone make me a wimp?
A few weeks into college, a best friend of mine had told me about a meltdown she had had, which resulted in her cutting her own hair at 1am. I thought this idea crazy, but then it sparked an idea in me.
So with this thought in mind, I decided to let go of something different than most rising freshman. Something I thought would be out of my comfort zone. I too would cut my own hair.
And this is where the hairdresser comment will come in place.
Don’t worry, things will tie together eventually.
Hair has always been seen as a symbol. In Mulan, Mulan herself cuts her hair, symbolizing sacrifice and change. In Avatar The Last Airbender, Zuko slices off his ponytail, and honestly can we thank the creators because that A.) made him look so much better, but B.) also symbolized his change of character. (Sorry for the spoilers).
And like some John Green teenage girl main character, I decided that I would cut my hair off.
Now I had been talking about this for a few days with my best friends, but as an indecisive person who is also afraid of commitment I had one saving grace of this seemingly crazy idea. Hair grows back. So I put all of my fate into a coin. But as I was too lazy to use a real coin, I asked Siri to flip a coin. So in this, I let Apple’s AI system decide my small fate.
So for this momentous act I took some dull scissors and got to work. My heart did not flutter, nor did my hands shake. I took four inches of my curly dark hair and watched it fall Into a Sparty’s Bag. (Which is still lying on my desk. I mean I didn’t really want to throw it away, that was an iconic moment for me.)
I almost perfected each snip, and thought, wow, this is so cliché, a newly made freshman cutting her hair as her way of letting go.
But primarily for me it was letting go of how much conditioner I used and how much time was spent in the shower.
So even though I did not let go of anything major, I let go of a major disaster of tangled curls.
And that, my friends, was revitalizing.
So do it in your own small ways, whether it be saying goodbye to your split ends, or saying goodbye to your entire country.
I will end this with handing you that same phrase I resisted all this time: