Is modesty really all that great?

Each year at UKC, Kent Union host an awards ceremony to celebrate the hard work which students and staff put in. This year, UKC Student Media has teamed up to create our own separate awards ceremony, dedicated solely to the people who make Student Media what it is, whether it be us InQuire writers, the guys behind the KTV cameras, or the people getting us ready every morning with the CSR breakfast shows. This should be an exciting opportunity to get yourself noticed, but I found, as I’m sure many others did, that I didn’t feel confident enough to submit myself to the awards. My modesty had taken over. Which got me thinking…

Of course, being modest is a good thing, most of the time at least. Nobody wants someone running around screaming that they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, but everyone should be proud of their own personal achievements. I’m not saying that as a writer I think I’m the next JK Rowling or Jane Austen, but I do think I’m quite good at what I do – feel free to disagree.

I find that the worst thing isn’t knowing that you’re good at something, it’s justifying why you are. When you decide to apply to university, you have to write a personal statement about yourself which details why your choices should accept you into their folds, as well as all the awesome things you’ve done up to that point. When writing my own personal statement, I had this horrible realisation that I’d actually done nothing with my life other than go to school and work hard, then I realised that was probably exactly what universities were looking for. I suddenly realised that I shouldn’t be modest about my school record, I should show off the fact that I’d done well, I should be proud of what I’d achieved. My modesty had kicked in again, but I managed to push it to the side, without sounding like a dick.

Modesty seems to be an all too common trait however, as everyone at my college seemed to find the personal statement to be the worst part of the application process. Forget interviews or tests, tell someone to write about why they’re amazing and everyone suddenly forgets how words work and gets themselves in an utter tizz. I remember one of my friends struggling to think of something cool to say about herself so much that, at the bottom of one draft, she wrote ‘PS. I can see through time’…..pretty sure she was lying.

But why should we feel like we have to lie? At the risk of sounding incredibly trite, we’ve all got something unique to bring to the table. Although modesty can be charming in many ways, sometimes you need to wake up and realise that you’re brilliant.

Okay, I’ve changed my mind about being good at writing…




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