See the girl standing to the left in the picture? The one with the blue cast? Yeah, that’s me.
I was two weeks into the second semester of my senior year, and I had plans for it to be great. Instead, I slipped on ice and ended up breaking my hand. To top it all off, we were in the middle of recruitment. I had to call our president and our VP of recruitment when I realized what had happened to explain that I couldn’t make the bid party because I was on my way to the emergency room.
Two days later, I arrived on campus with a lovely bright blue cast that extended nearly to my elbow. It was heavy and bulky and cumbersome, and it was so not how I wanted to start my last semester. As always, my sisters managed to help me make the best of it. They doodled on my cast and even drew letters on it for me (obviously). I became known on campus as “the girl with the cast,” but I didn’t mind it too much. My clumsiness and my ability to end up in the emergency room for odd reasons was already pretty well known with my sisters.
As always, my sisters helped me and supported me through that difficult time. I was on my own and had managed to injure my dominant hand. Every day tasks were suddenly very difficult for me, and I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t have my sisters to help me through it. They came with me to my x-rays and doctor appointments and helped me when I had to do things that required the use of both hands. One of my sister sat in the emergency room with me for hours while we waited for the results of my x-ray. That’s true sisterhood right there.
In any case, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with being clumsy. If you’re a clumsy person, too, these things will probably happen to you:
- You’ll be embarrassed. There’s no getting around it. Chances are, you’ll have some embarrassing story to go along with your equally humiliating injury. Just accept it now and learn that having the ability to laugh at yourself is one of life’s greatest lessons. I still get kind of embarrassed when I explain to people that I got my third concussion because I got a car door shut on my head. But then I laugh, so it’s totally okay.
- Everyone will make fun of you. You’ll tell the story of how you completely wiped out on your way back from the bar and that’s how you got the scrape on your elbow, everyone will laugh, you’ll laugh, and then someone will tease you for being clumsy. And you’ll just say, “Duh, I already knew that.”
- Random bruises are practically an accessory. I’ve had many conversations where someone will point out a bruise I have and the first thing out of my mouth is, “Oh, where did that come from?” Bruises and scrapes that appear without any reason will become commonplace if you’re a clumsy person.
- You’ve probably ended up in the ER at some point. The extremely clumsy people find themselves in the emergency room at one point or another. I’ve been in the ER seven times at this point – and sophomore year of college was the only year that I didn’t end up taking a trip to the emergency room. I probably should have rented out a bed at the local hospital.
- Your mom will yell at you. A lot. When there was a possibility that I might have had a fourth concussion, my mom spent a solid twenty minutes yelling at me and threatening to drive up to school and cause me bodily harm (luckily, I didn’t have another concussion and thus escaped punishment from my mother). Moms do this sort of thing out of love, so just blame the clumsiness and wait for it to pass.
- The doctor will yell at you too. When I was in the ER for my third concussion, the doctor said, “You should probably stop hitting your head.” Um, excuse me? Do you think I plan for this stuff to happen? No. No, I do not.
- You’ll walk into anything and everything. Clumsy people frequently walk into doors, walls, poles, tables, and chairs. We’ve just accepted it as a fact of life.
- You’ll trip over everything, including flat surfaces and your own feet. You’ll just minding your own business, enjoying a nice walk across campus, when all of the sudden you trip over NOTHING. You’ll look around, try to play it cool, and hope to god that no one saw you.
- You’ll become known as “that clumsy person.” When I had my cast on, I became known as “the girl with the cast.” It was a relatively small campus and casts weren’t something that a lot of people had, so I’m not surprised. Still, that didn’t mean I wasn’t embarrassed when some of my sisters told me that their professors talked about me in their classes.
- You’ll realize it’s actually an endearing quality. Sure, you’ll get super embarrassed when you tell the story of your latest clumsy mishap. People will tease you, but that’s okay. You’ll learn to laugh at yourself and soon you’ll embrace your clumsy side. And hey, at least you’ll have a good story to tell.