September 17th, 2007 Jamie
If you’re like me, you didn’t get much of a chance to change your image during your high school years. So much of who you are seems to depend on how the people around you perceive you.
Then you go away to college, and everything is different. You get to start over.
No one knows you, and in most cases, people are a lot less judgmental. Those solid labels of “jock,” “geek,” “drama queen,” “prep,” and “band-o” are a lot more fluid. Like you can play intramural sports and be really good at calculus, and nobody thinks that’s a weird. So basically, you finally get to really be yourself.
I can’t say that I was any wilder or crazier in college than I was in high school—that’s really not what “finding yourself” is all about anyway. Partying can be tempting, but it can also really mess up your GPA if you get too into it (a mistake many freshman pay for in years to come). What I’m talking about is deciding for yourself what you value, what kind of people you want to be around, and what makes you happy. You finally get the opportunity to make your own decisions, and be the person you have always wanted to be.
My freshman year of college was a big deal for me. I took on a lot of responsibility, and made a lot of big decisions about my life and how I wanted to lead it. I also let go a little bit—I was a straight A student in high school, but I didn’t plan on going to grad school, so I didn’t beat myself up for getting B’s anymore. I decided a balance between work and play was more important than having a 4.0.
Here are a few of the things I decided on/did my freshman year:
Chose to major in a subject I loved (even though I knew it would pay less money)
- Decided which church I wanted to go to (without Mom & Dad around to pressure me)
- Pierced my ears for a second time (actually, my Mom thought this was pretty cool)
- Changed my “look” (hair, clothes, etc) multiple times until I found something that felt like “me”
- Started paying a lot of my own bills
- Declined a large sum of college money from a verbally and emotionally abusive relative (I decided it was worth it to take out loans and get a job instead… but it was a very tough decision)
So this is your chance.
You’re out on your own. You’re in a new group of people. You have the opportunity to decide things for yourself.
Are you who you want to be?
Entry Filed under: life 101