Taking Risks and Why I Shaved my Head
Growing up I was always attached to my hair for whatever reason. I’ve met so many people who said that they would never shave their heads. It seemed to be a common attachment to the dead cells growing out of your head and I could never figure out why.
I grew up as your typical, “follow the rules because I’m too anxious to not” kind of kid. Risk was not in my vocabulary. I still hate roller coasters, presenting to big groups, talking to strangers as much as I did back then. This is why I surprised myself when I, a born and raised Ontarian, decided to move to the other side of the country at the age of 17 to attend UVic.
Looking back this was one of the best decisions of my life, even though it was so out of character. I’ve learned that risk is such a big part of university life. Without it, we would never achieve anything.
Never go to university, never leave our parents’ house, never try new hobbies when we don’t know whether we’ll succeed in them, never meet new people and start our adult life. Every big step in our lives takes risk. But those risks seem to always create the best outcomes that we never would have thought was possible.
Circling back to my hair, shaving my head was something that I had wanted to do for a long time but I was too scared so I kept putting it off. What if it looked horrible? What if people stared at me? But if I couldn’t take such a small risk, how could I take bigger ones in the future?
One day I told my coworkers that I had had enough. The next day we gathered in my room and without giving me a chance to rethink my decision they had already made the first snip.
My first reaction – what have I done? Next was a bit of excitement, and then a small panic attack. The normal reactions to every risk we take. The things that stop us from taking the risk in the first place.
The following day I stood in front of the mirror and ran my fingers over my scruffy head. The final reaction – elation. I loved it. More than any other dramatic change to my appearance that I had done before. I was so happy. I just needed to get through all of those other emotions to feel the excitement that risk-taking brings.
Risks are scary. This is just a small example. Coming to university you’re presented with so many opportunities. Joining clubs, running for student office, meeting new people, applying for co-ops and jobs, going on adventures with your friends. But my advice is, don’t turn them down for fear of your first reaction, when you don’t know yet how great the final outcome will be.