In every person’s life, there are times when embarrassing things happen. When this sort of thing happens to you, it feels as though you are the only one who has experienced that sort of embarrassment, but even those who might snicker or jeer at you have had some instance in their lives that warranted embarrassment.

The most embarrassing moment of my life happened when I was in college. I had just gotten done hanging out at a friend’s house, and I was walking with a few people back to campus. In between the house and my dorm room there was a long fence that I had usually walked around. This night, I had decided that I didn’t want to walk around the fence and that I would much rather climb it. I climbed to the top, and as I was about to jump down to the grass on the other side, my pants snagged on the top of the fence. Instead of landing on my feet, I landed on my side, and as I fell to the ground, I heard the unmistakable sound of fabric ripping. When I got up, I noticed that my pants had ripped from top to bottom. They weren’t even functioning pants anymore! The people with whom I was walking alternated between acting concerned for my wellbeing and laughing hysterically at me.

I wanted to hide. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to run back to my dorm room, but my darn pants simply wouldn’t allow it. I could feel my face get bright red. Then I did what I always do when I get embarrassed about something: I took a few deep breaths and gave myself a little pep talk in my head. The pep talk went something like this: “This has almost certainly happened to someone else before. I’m not alone in feeling this way, and I don’t need to let this ruin my night. Also, it was pretty darn funny, so laugh at yourself a little bit and walk back to your room with your friends.” While this falls into the moniker ‘easier said than done,’ I still felt a little better after some forced laughter about my predicament. I walked awkwardly back to my dorm room, holding my pants together and joking around with my walking partners.

I was still embarrassed about that moment long after it happened. Some of the people who were with me told their friends, and I had other people come up and ask me to share my version of the story with them. I was embarrassed, but I didn’t let that instance get me down or defeat me. I laughed along with people when I told the story, and I tried to make the most out of a difficult situation.