Growing up in Hawaii I didn’t think my 5’4″ stature was out of the ordinary, most people were of similar heights-taller and shorter than me. But coming to UPS and joining the men’s crew team (a sport that traditionally has athletes up to 7feet basically, the taller the better) I realized how short or vastly different my height is compared to many people. I should’ve known when I actually can and do shop in petite sections of stores that I am petite.
Often times I feel like because I’m petite, in height and weight, and female that people often assume certain things about it. They assume I’m going to be accommodating, that I don’t need much space, that I’m probably quieter and smaller person means smaller personality. While some of these traits may be true of some petite people its not true for others, myself included and the size of your body doesn’t mean people can assume certain things about you.
Last night I flew home after completing all my in-person finals (I have a lab report and essay that needs editing calling my name still). I always choose a window seat because I’ll have a view (even if the view is pitch black darkness and the wing) and can sleep against the plane. Being a smaller person I don’t take up all the space in my airplane seat and the person sitting next to me decided he could take up some of my space. He either didn’t see I was uncomfortable or decided he wanted more space and just took it, making me feel uncomfortable and moving away to take up less space. Maybe there was something I should’ve done differently. The conversations I’ve had at UPS made me think about social consent, respecting and learning about peoples boundaries,
Being in college and at UPS changes your perspective if you’re open to learning more than inside the classroom. The most growth happens when we have conversations with others to learn about perspective, loss and supporting others. If there’s one thing UPS has definitely taught me, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Especially with others you don’t know, don’t assume stereotypes about them and think about how