The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Embarrassment is a Choice.

Alright, I’ll admit it. I know it might not sound too factual, but let’s be real—what often triggers our embarrassment can actually be pretty rough. Take, for instance, the time I took a tumble down a flight of stairs in high school between class changes—so many people witnessed it. And there’s the classic example of me showing up at 9 am to my 8:30 class during the first week because, you guessed it, I thought I registered for a 9 a.m. class. 

But what I’m actually trying to point out is that there are these embarrassments that make no sense at all. Like, why does taking a selfie in public feel like you’re about to pull off a top-secret mission? And have you ever said your goodbyes only to realize you’re both heading in the same direction? It’s like the universe is playing a prank on you. 

Then there’s the bowling alley–that agonizing walk back after your turn. Suddenly, it’s as if you’re on a low-quality red carpet, with everyone scrutinizing your every step. And don’t even get me started on the absolute academic facepalm when you confidently share the completely wrong answer after raising your hand. 

Now, let’s talk about campus life. Trying to hit the gym at a Division I school when the place is absolutely packed? The gym anxiety is real. Don’t even get me started on waiting for the campus shuttle awkwardly on the street and then having to actually board it. Have you ever eaten alone at the Bison or the ELC because you only have 20 minutes before class, but for some reason, you think people are going to assume you have no friends? Even though you know nobody actually cares at all. Well, that one could just be me; I swear I do have friends. I just want to eat my Bada Basil bowl in a timely manner before my 3:00 class.

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But why do these moments make us want to evaporate into thin air? No matter how confident and collected you may be, these awkward moments have a way of creeping into our lives. Take, for instance, those who feel a twinge of embarrassment when having to ask the waiter for something at a restaurant—I’ve never quite understood it, but I can empathize with the feeling. We all have our own unique discomforts. Ironically, I actually love public speaking. I co-hosted the annual SASA dinner last semester and have addressed large crowds multiple times without a hint of embarrassment. Yet, the memory of waving at someone who was actually greeting the person right behind me still manages to linger. It makes no sense at all.

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to defy these embarrassment traps. I’m embracing the awkwardness and realizing that embarrassment is a choice. You can let that mistimed class entrance define your day, or you can brush it off with a laugh. Life’s awkward, embarrassing moments are just sitcom moments in our lives and we’re all just playing our parts. So, when faced with those cringe-worthy scenes, remember – you can choose to be embarrassed or turn it into a shared joke with a friend. After all, life’s too short not to laugh at the oddness of it all.

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