Self Awareness and Growth

By Sarah Cunningham

For many, certain things come to mind when thinking of what college is exactly and its purpose, except for, studying for a future job, of course. Some may think of partying 24/7, studying for hours on end or the vast change from living at home and getting warm, cooked meals, to sleeping in a dorm room and being served at the dining hall. Aside from all of this, one of the biggest things that come to mind when people think of college is finding out who they are and getting to know themselves.

That’s what I thought the most about before coming to college, that it was finally a chance to fully understand myself and who I exactly was– my opinions, hobbies, tastes and more. To my surprise, this takes a lot of time. I had expected that within the first month of living on a college campus that some sort of magical transformation, much like Cinderella’s, would take place and I would become my fully authentic and transformed adult self. I imagined that the few clubs I joined and friends that I met would have helped this transformation go by smoothly. Once I began to realize that I was still figuring it out deep into my first semester, I began to worry that I had missed a certain step or did something wrong.

Anxious thoughts crowded my mind constantly as I began to believe that everyone had it figured out already while I had been left behind. Feeling cheated out of my expectations of everything already falling into place, I became unsettled with the sense that I hadn’t exactly felt like I had wished I did. This left me homesick often, missing the comfortability that I had adapted to when living in my hometown my entire life. I found myself often wishing I could press a restart button and watch a tutorial on how to do college before ever coming here.

Unfortunately, it took me an entire semester to debunk the myth that everyone else had their lives figured out already. Assuring myself that this process will take time was difficult, but needed. I realized that finding new hobbies and friends will be a never ending process throughout these next four years due to the constant change of classes and environments we all experience. I am coming to a realization that finding yourself is a never ending process. It will continue to go on and on throughout all of college and even afterward. It is always helping us become a better person than we were the day before; for that I am thankful.

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