When I got to college two years ago, I was taken aback by how quickly I felt myself changing into a different person as the months continued. I was worried that I was becoming someone I couldn't be proud of, someone that didn't know exactly what I wanted and what I was looking for because quite frankly I wasn't entirely sure of the self that lived under my skin.
Freshmen year was a lot of me stumbling around and trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life--slightly unrealistic for an 18-year-old--and not really finding any concrete answers. Sophomore year came and has gone and it's interesting to realize that I was a different person when I entered college, a different person from that leaving freshmen year and a different person from that leaving sophomore year. Sitting here at 20-years-old, I'm finally happy with where I've reached. It wasn't exactly easy to get to the point I'm at now, but I definitely made some strides along the way.
Sitting here writing this article, I'm more confident in myself and my understanding of self-worth and self-care than I ever could have dreamed when I came into college. My process of discovering more of who I was didn't necessarily happen all by myself, but I couldn't tell you a single person that made the most impact--a lot of it was me and the mentality I had throughout this year.
After being disrespected by a lot of people and struggling to think of what my life might be like after graduation, I made a very deliberate decision to take time for myself--to sit with my own thoughts and ideologies and really dissect what they mean. It made all the difference and I cannot encourage you enough to try doing this yourself. It took me most of this academic year--6 months maybe--to finally get to this point where I'm happy and feel like I finally understand the person that I want to be while not trying to be the person everyone wants me to be.
What's the most important about approaching this journey of self-discovery is that you kind of need to put everyone else aside. I don't mean neglect your friends and be distant from people that care about you--but you'll never truly understand who you are and what you're capable of if every or most of your actions revolve around another person.
Don't take that weird walk to class that actually makes no sense just on the off chance that you'll see your crush on the way--it doesn't matter.
Wear clothes that make you feel confident in your skin, don't wear them to impress someone else.
Don't let anyone into your social bubble that won't absolutely benefit your life, state of mentality, and your stress levels. It's not worth it and you're adding more negativity into your life that could be avoided.
Cut people out of your life that have always been a toxic presence once you start understanding more of who you are. Don't take people's sh*t. You're better than that and you deserve to be surrounded by people that know you and support you no matter what. If they question your integrity after every minute action that you make--drop them. They're not benefiting your life to any extent.
Long story short, don't be afraid to make your life all about you for a few months. Still be mindful and generous to the people that care about you--actually, it's imperative--but make sure you take time to actually put yourself first. Don't correlate your actions with the thought of someone else in mind because then you're probably not staying true to what you actually need to be doing to make you the happiest.
Don't be afraid to take time for yourself.
You're important too.