Student Voice


June 12, 2024


Students should ‘embrace the awkward’ when embarrassed

October 31, 2013

You are in class and realize that you have been zoning out for the last couple of minutes.

Even worse, you realize that you have been staring at a random guy across the room for several minutes and he noticed.

You quickly look away, embarrassed. You then look over again to see if he is still looking at you and he was not, but he just caught you looking at him again. This happens a few more times before you decide that it would be best for both of you if you transferred out of that class.

As you are walking back to your dorm after class, you let out a sigh, drained from the day’s event. You contemplate taking a nap and are already thinking about how good it will feel, when you walk into your room and see a stranger sitting at your desk. The stranger looks back at you with a surprised expression. That is when you realize that this is not your room. You stare at the person for a second, trying to process the fact that you had just walked into a stranger’s room. You mumble “Sorry, Wrong room,” before you race out of there, totally embarrassed.

Maybe you have not experienced a situation like one of these, or maybe you have been on the receiving end and have been totally creeped out a couple times.

Either way, we have all been in one of those awkward situations where you just want to disappear. I, for one, am an extremely awkward person and am sorry to say that these kinds of occurrences happen to me daily. I think the world would stop turning if I went a day without doing something awkward.

So what do we do? How do we avoid or cope with situations that make you and others feel awkward? If we had a clear answer to this question, we would not find ourselves in awkward dilemmas.

All we can do is embrace the awkward. My mom, knowing me better than anyone and, therefore, knowing that I am horribly awkward, gave me this advice before going off to college.

Embrace the awkward. What does this even mean? It means to roll with it, laugh it off and know that you can redeem yourself later. You could also just ask yourself “Chances are that I will never see these people again, so who cares?” Allow yourself to be that awkward person because some people actually find it charming.

So whether it is an awkward staring situation in class, farting in front of your crush or falling flat on your face in the middle of the University Center in front of all of your peers, we are all awkward from time to time. Why not embrace it?

Natalie Howell is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the <em>Student Voice</em> during the 2016-2017 academic year.