When I started college, I thought I knew who I was. I was kind and quiet — I liked keeping to myself. But, when I got to BU, I started to notice a shift. I didn’t hold myself back from meeting new people. I didn’t allow myself to be treated poorly. Where I used to be afraid, I was now excited. It was a shift I never expected but desperately needed.
I grew up in a small and seemingly perfect town. In towns like this, everyone knows each other — especially when you’ve spent your entire life there. The person I was at seven or eight years old was not the person I became at eighteen. But, when a certain image exists of you, it becomes difficult to break out of that image.
I wasn’t necessarily a reserved person, but I liked staying in more than I liked going out. You would find me on walks with my dog more often than you would find me out with friends. While I still enjoy my solo walks, these days, I’m out with my friends as often as I can be.
The shift that occurred when I started college confused me. Was I not truly myself back home? Why am I so different from the person I used to be?
The change didn’t occur because I was faking who I was before. It happened because, now, I’m in a new environment — full of new people and new things to do. Of course, a different environment will bring out different sides of the person you are. While these changes can be confusing, it is a crucial part of figuring out who you are. Regardless of how confident we may be in ourselves, there is no guarantee that we will always be this way.
Living life to the fullest means learning and growing. We figure out who we are as we grow up and have new life experiences. If we take the pressure off figuring out who we are, we make the process easier and more natural.