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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Growing up, I always had this idea of who I wanted to be or rather, who I should be. The vision was to maintain a 4.0 GPA, get into the college of my dreams, fall in love while I was young, not make any ‘mistakes’ whatsoever, travel the world with the love-of-my-life, get married on a beach somewhere in Malinalco, be the editor of some fashion magazine while he was a diplomat overseas, and then have children to continue our legacy. I didn’t think there was anything more to “finding yourself” or “growing up.” I thought all there was to it was to get a college degree and to find your person as soon as possible since apparently, they are in high demand. Being in love was a big part of what I saw to be the most important thing in my life. When in reality, it’s not.

There are hundreds of rom coms that broadcast this ‘life-changing romance.’ At the beginning of the movie, the main character is a sour person who doesn’t have an optimistic outlook on life until he/she/they find someone who they fall madly mad for–then, magically their life is perfect! I used to study these blockbuster movies like scripture. I thought that if I watched more of them–soon, the same thing would happen to me and I would finally be happy. 

Happiness doesn’t come from settling down, going to university, or love finding you–it comes from living. Living your own life, making your own decisions, not allowing your friends, family, or partners to decide what’s best for you because only you know what you need (even if you don’t always know what you want). You need to allow yourself to just live an unscripted life–because if your life is like a movie then it’s already been done before.

The time I grew the most was when I lost myself. A college rugby player once told me, “I feel like I need to lose myself to find myself.” And, he was entirely right. Take your youth to be truly curious and adventurous–don’t settle and don’t box yourself into the image you have of your life or yourself because chances are you will grow out of who you wished to be and you’ll grow into who you were meant to become.  

Paloma is a fourth-year BAFA student at The New School majoring in Literature at Eugene Lang College and Vocal Jazz at The School of Jazz and Contemporary Music with a minor at Parsons in Fashion Communications. She enjoys performing, writing, reading, hiking, and spending time with her pups-Daisy & Minnie, kitty cat-Chai, and her silkie & polish chickens.
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