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Feeling Lost is a Strong Motivator

There is something about living and learning with a group of people going through a lot of the same things during formative years of early adulthood. The college experience, especially while living on campus, is a very unique set of circumstances. For some, it’s the best part of their lives; for others, the worst. It’s a time when new experiences are made and most people grow and change. It’s also a time when people are really weird.

High levels of caffeine, low levels of sleep, and the first taste of independence create an environment where young people are inclined to push boundaries and try new things. My favorite eccentric experience also had a depth to it which will stay with me. It started at 2 a.m. while I kept a friend company as she managed the front desk of a residence hall.

My amazing friend was hurting after some upsetting events within an interpersonal relationship. Another friends told her that in his home country it was common to get a wild new haircut after ending a relationship to symbolize letting go of the past and moving on.

After some back and forth nervous laughter and discussion, we each cut a small lock of our hair and set it on the desk.

Haircuts and New Beginnings

A few other friends walked by over the next hour and we convinced them to join us. We even got a couple of strangers to participate. We told them cutting our hair symbolized a new start and that resonated with a lot of people. So many of us feel either lost or trapped, and the opportunity to be a part of something that represents hope is tempting. Feeling fearful and powerless can cause people to cling to the possibility of making the insecurities go away. In this case, we readily accepted cutting our hair in a dorm lobby with borrowed scissors to feel control over our lives. Not every grab for control is as harmless.


I am a writer, actor, translator, and social activist.

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