Who Even Cares?


Sakshi Palav

Sakshi Palav, Co-Editor in Chief/News Editor/Co-Sport's Editor

I have lived many lives throughout my high school years. I’ve been the smart girl, the kind girl, the opinionated girl, the sad girl, etc. But my favorite life would have to be the pixie haircut girl. It’s not my favorite persona because I think the haircut suits me—although one could argue it suits me pretty well— and it’s not my favorite because of the new friends I’ve made through conversations sparked about my new short hair. No, the pixie haircut life is my favorite because she is the most authentic persona I’ve embodied in high school. 

Since freshman year, I have wanted either a pixie cut or a buzz cut, but I always told myself I would wait until after I graduated high school so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the speculations and judgment that comes with new hairstyles, especially ones where girls cut their hair intensively short. I didn’t want to do what I pleased and cut my hair because I didn’t want to deal with the opinions of others. I was too concerned about how others perceived me. I preferred to fit in and be the norm than venture out and explore myself. 

To me, finally getting this haircut I’ve wanted for years is a reflection of me finally letting go of the worry of how others might perceive me and truly emerging into the truest form of self expression. Throughout my high school years, I have written many pieces exploring my thoughts and using my voice to express myself, but cutting my hair was the first physical act of me exploring my true self. It was the first time I’ve made a decision not to worry about criticism. 

In this era, I have focused on being myself without caring about how others might perceive me. I think one day I just realized that I will never be true to myself and live the life I want if I dont stop caring about how I am perceived. 

And this, this doesn’t just apply to cutting hair—hopefully you guys do not think I am this restrictive with my writing—but I’ve found that if you live your life not caring, you will be so much happier, genuinely.  High school is full of caring: caring about your grades, caring about being in class at exactly 8:05 A.M., caring about matching what is expected of you as a teen. For me, the pixie haircut girl radiates not caring in the best possible way. She has allowed me to let go of the restrictive tethers of high school. Let me tell you how. The year: 2022. The place: my car. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t tell stories like that. Okay, real story now. 

At the beginning of the year, I was so adamant about being on time to first period because I was embarrassingly scared about getting in trouble. I didn’t want tardies—brutally honest, I was still late most of the time, but the point is that I tried everything in my power not to be—and I prioritized being on time over everything. Like one day, I saw a lady with her child holding a help sign and I wanted to stop and give her my lunch or cash or something because I have the ability to, but I didn’t. I didn’t stop because I didn’t want to be late to my first period. I thought to myself, “I’ll just come help after school.” But, she wasn’t there after school and I never saw the lady and her child ever again. I cannot explain to you how defeated I felt. Knowing I could have done something, offered some sort of aid, but instead chose to not be late was such a feeling of shame. 

I chose not being marked tardy and being lightly scolded by a teacher over helping a soul have a better day. That is a mistake I never hope to make again. So, after that day, I decided that I don’t care. Tardies are tardies and I don’t care if I get them if I know I used my time for good. So now, I stop everytime I see someone who I think I could help. The other day I gave a lady and her son a ride to school because I saw them walking in the freezing cold. I didn’t ask for their names and they didn’t ask for mine, but we shared a moment of gratitude and selflessness together and I was late to my first period that day—a whole 30 minutes late—but I didn’t care because I truly believe my life’s meaning is to love and share connections of love with everyone I meet. Who cares about one tardy when I just helped make someone’s day a little bit happier? 

My senior year of high school has been my happiest year yet. It’s not because I am almost done with high school or because I’m about to graduate or because I get to do all the senior activities. It’s because I realized how much happiness lies in cutting off the negativity I attached to other people’s opinions and criticism about me. I have spent too many years being the nice girl and the smart girl and the quiet girl. The more you explore your voice and the more you embody yourself—regardless of the judgment you think you’ll get—the happier and secure you will be with yourself. So, as this is my last Clarion issue I’ll ever be a part of, that is the advice I want you guys to genuinely absorb. You are everything and your opinion of yourself is the only opinion that matters. When you begin to revel in your own choices, all other judgment fades into the background. Do what makes you happy and I know that is easier said than done, but I truly believe you enjoy your life and yourself more when you begin to lose attachment to the idea of how others perceive you.  

I believe when we are more in tune with our truest selves, we are happier and when we are happier, we embody and share the love we are meant to much more easily. The pixie haircut persona is the start of my authentic self and she has helped me realize that to be the love I aspire to become, I must live for myself regardless of the judgment of others.

So, who even cares? Live for yourself and you will soon see the love you embody manifest all around you.