Honesty time. Growing up, I had a warped sense of self-worth. I thought I was plain, boring, and that no one could possibly like me. I shuffled through middle school and high school with my head down in a book, because I worried that the other kids would be mean to me. When you meet me, at first I’m pretty quiet because of the overwhelming fear that people won’t like me.

Unfortunately, the environment I grew up in taught me that the world would repay the love I give with anger and hate. I closed myself off to new people and new experience: too afraid to open my mouth and share a bit of me. When I reached my high school graduation, I knew that my life was about to change in drastic ways and that I could have the opportunity to reinvent myself. I would be away from the constricting environment that taught me to expect hatred.

I was so excited for my freshman year at UT. No one would know me as the quiet girl who just zones out all day. I could be someone that people look forward to seeing. Someone who is a loyal source of joy to others. I knew that I had a lot of friendship to give, but getting to that point was pretty hard. I made it my goal to try and speak to a new person every day. Eventually, I ran out of new people to speak to in my classes and dorm, so I decided that I wanted to branch out and join a club.

Royals appealed to me because I knew that there would be plenty of scheduled social events that I could go to; as a way to practice the skills that my anxiety didn’t allow me to nurture. The girls I met through Royals have become some of my closest friends. They have taken my worry about meeting new people and turned into excitement. I love them with all my heart. I still have fears— many of them. I still worry what people think of me. I still worry too much and overthink everything. However, I am so proud of myself for the strides that I have made especially in my time with Texas Royals. I have grown so much as an individual, and I am so lucky that I have had Royals to help me grow along the way.

Grace Heineman || Spring 2017 Jewel Class

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