Q&A with TED Talk speaker Victoria Garrick


Caitlin Earnshaw and Victoria Giomi

Have you ever given your speech to a co-ed audience?  If so, does that change what you share?

Yes, I have spoken to a high school the same size [as NDB] that was… boys and girls. I definitely alter some of my content to be more relatable for guys. I do think guys also struggle with body image and self-worth. So… I incorporate examples of Shawn Mendes or something… that they can relate to.

Do you think somebody needs to go through an experience like yours in order to really understand the effects of social media?

I feel like all people can relate to social media being a highlight reel and perfect images. I think I obviously was someone that was obsessed with it. So, I think that level of caring about social media is something you experience. But, I think, in this day and age, we all know about the highlight reel, we all know people who experience pressure from social media.

Do you think your life would have turned out differently if you attended a school that was on another level compared to USC?

I don’t even know where I would be today without my experiences at USC. Frequently, people will say like, “Do you wish you could go back and go on a different team or go back and avoid the mental health aspects that I battled?” But, I don’t because, if I didn’t go to USC, I wouldn’t have experienced what I had.  I wouldn’t have met the psychologist who helped me.  USC gave me the platform to speak on a TED Talk stage. USC provided me with all these amazing resources… I am so grateful that I was a Trojan.

How do you deal with guys, dating, and relationships?

When it comes to relationships, I think I definitely was seeking validation. Like, if guys were liking my pictures, if the guys were the ones to approach me at a party versus another girl.  I can remember times where I went out, thinking I looked really cute, and I felt like no guys gave me attention. And, that was something that… either validated me looking cute that night or it didn’t. So, I really sought that out from a guy.

I thought a guy would complete me. I was a hopeless romantic. And, I always thought, I’m going to find my Prince Charming. I’m going to find… my husband, and my life can be perfect. I found that guy. He’s great.

But, I was still depressed… I remember hysterically crying about something that was happening in my life. And, I literally remember having the thought, “How could I… feel like this when I have [my boyfriend] Max? Because I found the guy, I should be fine. That’s what we learned from fairy tales. You meet the guy and… [then] the happy ending.

I realized… nobody is going to complete me, but myself. That was a great revelation I had. No matter what person it is: Your mom, a boyfriend, a future husband, girlfriend, a coach. They are not going to fix my situation. I’m the only one that can can complete myself and fix what’s happening.