smile, and you just might get one back

By: Sol Skyers

Smile, and you just might get one back!

I was lucky to get into a Women’s Studies class this semester; it seems that my old procrastinating self never registered early enough to get into one prior to now. I wasn’t sure what to expect beforehand. I think ignorantly I expected to see a bunch of man-hating females congregating in one room discussing how men are the root of all evil. I was obviously mistaken and quickly learned that Women’s Studies is more than anything I had ever believed it to be.

I met a girl in my class who repeatedly beats herself down, claiming she isn’t worthy enough to be at school and how she’s thinking of dropping out. I needed to know why she felt this way, because I too have been in the same position. When I asked her why she didn’t believe in herself, she said that her father had always told her she wasn’t good enough. In that moment, I truly realized how powerless women can be within their own homes, a place where we should feel safe and supported, yet we’re being beaten down and damaged.

I saw strength in her because she gave herself a chance. She rose above anything she had ever been taught and was attempting to stand on her own two feet despite anything she had ever been told. I loved how candid she was considering I was a stranger to her. Something about her was so radiant even though I could hear the pain in her voice.  I felt like she was speaking on behalf of millions of females who feel like they’re not good enough, who feel they don’t deserve happiness.  Women have a unique value and worth, that is irreplaceable, our womanhood could never be minimalized. We are a rare species with such amazing power. We need to encourage one another and remind each other that we are all in this together. Often I believe that half of the problem is that somewhere along the way we stopped being sisters and became enemies and competitors, but no one knows the struggles, the pain or the joys and happiness better than a fellow female.

I have noticed the absence of women being friendly to one another to anyone that is not a close part of their immediate circle. Whether it’s in the halls or in the washroom, not too many people are quick to offer a smile, or a selfless act of kindness. We as women have the ability to reach out to one another and assure one of our own that they are not alone. Let’s face it: life can be challenging at times, and it has a funny way of making us feel secluded, when really we are all struggling in our own individual way.

I encourage each and every one of you to reach out this semester to someone who is but a stranger to you, try to get to know someone you usually wouldn’t talk to.  You just might inspire someone, make a lifelong friend, and if nothing more, it’s always good to know the first name of a fellow classmate.

Peace, Love & Unity

~Sol Skyers~

editor’s note: sol skyers is a first year women’s studies and social work major.  she believes strongly in uniting women together through developing bonds of sisterhood.

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