One Star Review

Today, I finished the final stage of an application that I am very excited about. It was a video interview with a member of the program’s admission’s team. I feel fairly confident about it, considering that I had never done a video interview before. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to look into the camera and make eye contact while giving my answers or not, but I hope my inconsistency with that won’t knock me any points.

After the interview was over, I told my dad that I felt like it went well. I reached out to give him a high five and he refused. To give you some context, this program would be an alternative to college, and that idea doesn’t make my parents super happy. They think I’m pursuing it for inappropriate reasons and that I’m being influenced by people around me to think a certain way. I see the situation differently. I’ve been interested in this program’s entrepreneurial opportunities for a while and have a history of running a business (even though it flopped.) The point being, this “sudden” interest in the program isn’t so sudden and shouldn’t be so surprising. Either way, they’re not happy with me.

So, I took a hike. I drove over to my favorite trail, took my dog, and hiked for an hour. I’m not a fan of a ton of crunchy-granola things like camping or rock climbing, but I do like hiking. It’s free high-intensity interval training with all of the hills and valleys, and it hits your muscles just as hard as your lungs. It also gets me out of my mind and into another headspace. The fresh air, my dog jogging beside me, the sticks breaking under my feet, and the challenge of climbing those hills all remind me that I’ve got more important things to do than dwell on something negative.

I was listening to a podcast (#13) that I feel kind of strange hyperlinking because it is associated with the program I applied to (I mean, talk about ass kissing,) but I do find it genuinely interesting and fun to listen to. At one point in the show, one of the hosts said: “sometimes, when you’re doing something meaningful, you’re going to have to deal with getting those one-star reviews.” I’m sure that’s not the exact quote, but it’s something to that effect. That idea hit me really hard. My entire life had been based around making my family happy; getting in shape, becoming a successful dancer, doing well on my ACT’s and AP’s, getting accepted to McGill, becoming valedictorian, etc. had all been my past goals because I wanted my family to be proud of me.

At the end of the day, if the only person who is proud of you is you, that’s ok. Getting a one-star review, even from those who you care about most, is not the end of the world. Let it roll off, like water off of a duck’s back, and focus on making the next review five stars. Otherwise, you’ll just be angry and maybe let their fear and doubt seep into your mind.

My mother always said “Eloragh, you have to trust your gut. Your head and your heart will fight, but your gut will tell you what’s right.” It’s a cute little rhyme, but it holds a deep meaning for me. When something isn’t the right path for me, I feel it in my gut. I’ve learned to trust that feeling and to trust my own intuition. Honestly, you shouldn’t be trying to take anyone else’s advice if you can’t listen to yourself first. You have to filter through what is fear and pick out the useful pieces of wisdom that people offer you. That rhyme that she told me many years ago is one of those pieces.

So, I let it roll off. I went home, I ate dinner, the earth kept turning. I wrote a thank-you email to the woman who interviewed me and felt good knowing that I wasn’t letting my fear block my gut instinct. People may mean well but not realize they’re leaving that dreaded one-star review. Even if it does feel like I’m alone in my ideas, at least I know I have myself, and that’s better than no one.


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