Blog: On Individuality of Independence

There is a huge focus on individuality in a world consisting of many different kinds of people and many choices of how to live. Recognizing this has been emphasized in the media and educational institutions, with the understanding that people cannot and should not compare themselves to anyone. However, this is an idea that is much easier said than done. 

Life offers many ideas of what will fulfill us. Watching our peers accomplish things, find love, and follow their own paths can make one wonder about their own. Am I on the right track? Is there something I could be doing better? Am I too slow? These questions may pop into our minds at times, fighting to accept where we are, while struggling with feeling incomplete. 

University is a significant point in many people’s lives. From the moment we enter school until graduation, most of us are told what we should do and why we should do it. Our parents or guardians try to set us up on the right path by offering their knowledge and interpretation of the world with us. When I started university, I was flustered by the newfound freedom I had, since I was suddenly living without parental supervision at my school, far away from home. I could choose. I could decide. Every call was mine to make. If I didn’t agree with something or enjoy something, I finally had the power to change it, to be on my own. I decorated my room to my full enjoyment, ate food that I loved for every meal, and did laundry when I felt like it, not when my mom felt like it should be done — it seemed like paradise. 

But as the years have passed, it has become evident that freedom comes with responsibility. As much as I enjoy the power, independence brings a question to mind — who will I be after university? Who will I be in the long run? How do I get there? How did I get here? And as I approach my final years of school, I wonder what comes next.

There are those friends who have known who they are and where they’re going since day one. Each step is planned out, and every update from them makes you proud and terrifies you. You may not  have that same sense of security, that sense of knowing, and time seems to be running out. 

It’s important to strive to live the best life you can, as you only have one opportunity. As much as it’s a cliché, the truth is that not knowing and having an open mind about what might come isn’t a bad thing. Planning is important and can ensure success, but it’s important to accept that sometimes you can’t know, and you have to just try. People experience things at different paces and speeds - just because you don’t have it figured out at the same time as your best friend or your brother, does not make your life any less important, or your future any less bright.

The most important thing to remember is that no one’s life is better than another's. We are all entirely different. We coexist so harmoniously because each of us plays such an important and unique role. So if you don’t know exactly what you want your life to consist of, or feel like you’re not moving fast enough, take a deep breath and remember that it’s important to be where you are right now.