MAX CURTIN, Editor-in-Chief—I care about what you think.

I know I’m not alone when I say I am constantly worrying about the views other people have of me.

Fraternity brother, classmate, random person sitting in Slayter: It doesn’t matter. I think about it — I worry about it — because that’s how I’m wired.

I rehearse what I’m going to say over and over again in my head before I introduce myself in a room full of strangers. Sound familiar? Well, It’s what I do and it stems from a fear of being judged by my peers. It’s not just with strangers, though. It’s with everyone in my life.

I often find myself stuck in the same cycle with close friends whom I consider to be apart of my inner circle. Not all the time, but certainly much more than I care to admit. Whether I realize it or not, I’m nearly always worrying about everyone else’s reactions to what I say and what I do.

I envy the people who truly don’t care what other people think of them, the people who are unapologetic about the way they are.  

Why do I care so much about the way other people see me? And how are there people out there who seem to be truly unbothered by the opinions and judgements of everyone around them?

These are questions I have been asking myself a lot lately. 

A huge part of the whole thing is over-analyzing. Plenty of us are familiar with the process. I hear something come out of someone’s mouth and can’t stop thinking about it, no matter how hard I try. It eats away at me until I finally force myself to move on, only to return back to it moments later.

This is very closely tied with how I invariably compare myself with everybody around me. While this stems from being a naturally competitive person, it has extended far past the point of healthy competition for me.

Please listen to me when I tell you that this is not intended to be a sob story.

Everyone has things that they’re dealing with. Every. Single. Person.

We have all heard the warning plenty of times before: ‘Be careful about what you say because you never know what someone might be going through.’

That’s not quite the message I want to get across, though.

Rather than that, I want to ask people to be supportive of one another. Not just during times of need, or during crises. Always.

There’s a difference between being sensitive about a given subject or issue and being actively uplifting. It’s something that I want to make a conscious effort to improve upon myself.

I know that I’m not the only person who cares what other people think. I also know how good it makes me feel when someone else shows genuine care or concern about me and my life. That’s why I want to strive to do that for the people in my life.

I’m asking that people take a moment every so often and consider how they’re affecting the people around them. I know I’m guilty of not doing this enough.

I’m a worrier. It’s what I do. But it’s time that I stop spending so much time worrying about what people are thinking about me and start worrying about how I can be there for them.

Max Curtin ‘21 is a global commerce and economics double major with a Spanish minor from Manchester, New Hampshire.