Self-identity is key to college success

Destiny Kerr, Courier Staff

The first week of school is always the most tedious. You have to memorize your schedule, buy the proper supplies, and figure out the cheapest way to get books. Entering my second year of college as a sophomore, I’m pretty accustomed to the university and the people in it.

However, my perspective of college has changed since I completed my freshman year. Every incoming student has a vision of how they will live their college experience. Often times they see themselves making new friends, getting involved or going to parties. But that vision may be modified with the more you experience.

The number one modification of my college vision is my lack of desire to fit in. Being away from home gave me the opportunity to learn more about myself as an individual. Not having parental supervision and learning to make important decisions on my own has impacted my character both as a student and as an adult. I appreciate the friends I already have, but I’ve learned that the real ones come when you are ready; not when it’s forced.

One of the best things to establish during your college years, in my opinion, is independecy. Being able to rely on myself and make decisions on my own has helped in my transition to adulthood. Over the years I have gained and lost many friends. It even got to the point where I blamed myself. But in reality, the reason is because I didn’t know what to look for in a friend.

Throughout high school and even in my freshman year of college, all I wanted to do was fit in. I wanted people to like me, and so I did everything in my power to be “likeable” to certain people. The friendships that I did make didn’t last because I wasn’t able to relate to them on a personal level. The reason is because I didn’t even know who I was as a person. I was so focused on being liked that I never took the time to get to know myself.

Being in college has really given me the opportunity to stay in tune with my inner-self. I left home to come to a completely new place and I found my way without guidance from my parents. It was like starting from scratch. Now, entering my sophomore year, I’m very comfortable with who I am which means I don’t need to look for acceptance from anyone else. If I make friends now, it’s because me and those people have something in common.

All of this goes to say that it’s okay to be independent. My advice to all of the incoming freshman is to know yourself before trying to get to know others. Find out your interests. Join clubs with people who like the same things as you. Don’t be afraid to be different and try new things. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have friends, but make sure your friendships are based off of the right things. It’s cooler to stand out than to fit in, and it’s even better to be completely comfortable with who you are as an individual.