Embrace change and find happiness wherever possible

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

This past week, I cut all of my hair off.


And I mean like, all of it. About eight inches worth. 


I did it for a variety of reasons. One reason being that I simply hadn’t kept up with taking care of my hair over quarantine. My hair is thick, so if I keep it long I should get it cut and thinned out every few months. But I didn’t. It was at the point where I stopped brushing it for days at a time, because if I did, it would get super bushy. But then it would just get super tangled. So I couldn’t win.


And I cut it off. Well, actually my sister cut it off. She’s a cosmetology student in need of some real-life practice.


At first, I didn’t think this move meant much to me. It felt like something that I did for practicality’s sake, and it was. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized why I really did it. 


A lot of people, especially people who identify as female, joke online about impulse cutting or dyeing their hair, possibly due to the desire to change and have control amidst poor mental health conditions. And I have definitely done this in the past. This haircut wasn’t an impulse decision for me. I had been thinking about it for a couple months. And I had rocked a short haircut before, when I was in high school. I kind of missed it.


And I kind of missed who I used to be. This isn’t to say that I’m unhappy with myself now, in fact, the opposite is true. I’m incredibly comfortable and happy with my personality now and the way it has developed over the years. But the last time I had hair this short, my life was changing in big ways. I was beginning my senior year in high school, and I had just overcome the most severe bout of depression that I had ever experienced. I was at a transformative point in my life. And I was on the brink of some really positive development. The big chop symbolized to me a new beginning.


I’m in a similar spot right now. I’m a senior in college, preparing to end this semester and spend the winter break apartment and job hunting in preparation for graduation. I’ve been seeking and finding independence. I’ve been learning to cherish my friends in ways that I never have before. 


And I, like so many of us, have endured everything this year has had to offer so far. It has been difficult, but despite everything, I’m still here and still functioning. I’m a cat mom now, too. While the pandemic has been tragic and emotionally draining in so many ways, I feel happier and more content now with my life than I ever have.


Of course, cutting off my hair also made me think a lot about gender norms. Without long hair, I immediately felt the instinct to start dressing more femininely. I identify as a female and use she/her pronouns, and I am most comfortable when presenting as such. I wasn’t expecting to feel the need to compensate so much without my long hair. But I’m not upset about it. I don’t think that putting so much value in long hair makes sense, I mean, it’s just hair. I am happy with the decision to cut it off and challenge myself to develop my identity beyond just my hair. 


You may be wondering what the point of this article is. Like, why is the Editor-In-Chief of your university’s newspaper writing to tell you about her new haircut? It seems inconsequential, and it is. But there’s a lesson here. 


Change is important. And if you are itching for change, but are unsure whether or not you should go for it, do it. Embrace change. And be sure to treat yourself for small victories, especially this year.


I’m feeling optimistic about change. And that may just be because of the election. It may be because this year is coming to a close. However, I am looking towards the future with a lighter head and lighter thoughts. I implore you to join me, but you don’t have to chop off your locks to do so. Unless you want to.