During my time in college at Baylor University, I had two distinctive looks, both adorned proudly on my head:
Neon Hats & Headbands
The “neon hat phase” came during the first two years of college. I affectionately wore my neon pink hat sideways on my head almost every day (see picture below). In fact, people knew me by my hat. You would think as a 19 year old girl, I would realize the silliness in this. But that hat and I made memories. Memories that included 30 minute drives to Temple at midnight just to get tortillas from Taco Cabana (sorry, mom), drinking Sonic 3 times a day and watching music videos on MTV Jams with my roommates instead of writing our History papers. Those were some really good times.
Somewhere between my sophomore and junior year at Baylor, I discovered headbands. I finally ditched that pink hat for a more versatile, socially acceptable headwear.
I think when I made that switch, it was a reflection of something inside me changing. Not in a bad, lose myself kind of way. But for the first time, I took a deep breath and slowed down a bit. I no longer felt the need to say yes to everything because I became more content with my identity and my friendships. My Sonic consumption slowed (but will never stop), I did my homework at reasonable hours and I learned to say “no” to things that weren’t necessary. My grades improved, my friendships became richer and I began to plot my life goals. The fun didn’t stop, it just looked different.
I look back now on that faded neon hat and think of all the great experiences I had making friends and figuring out who I was. I’m thankful for those times and who they shaped me into becoming.
Now, I’m a college graduate, happily married to the greatest man in the world and beginning an exciting career as a marketer. While I don’t have a special piece of headwear to mark this stage of my life, I still grow and learn more about myself and the world around me every day.
I still occassionally wear those headbands though, because I think they’re cute.