Finding Yourself in College

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College is the time where you can truly find yourself. You are finally an adult (in most cases) and can make your own decisions. You also tend to struggle a bit -- which is completely normal. However, along this crazy, fun, yet terrifying journey, you truly find yourself. You discover your hopes and dreams, your fears, likes and dislikes, and who you are as an adult.

Making the decision on where to go to college can be a difficult one for most people. When I started my senior year, I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I knew I didn’t want to stay in my hometown, though. Around Thanksgiving I realized I wanted to go to the University of Oklahoma which wasn’t exactly common in the small town I lived in. I decided to go for it, though.

I was beyond excited when I got accepted and full-blown ugly cried. Part of me was shocked that I got in but when I moved into my terribly small dorm the next fall, I realized it was the best decision I have ever made and this is where I belong. I coasted my first semester as I adjusted to college life. At the end of the first semester, I felt so refreshed and felt as though I truly connected with more people in that one semester than I had in years. Coming to college helped me find myself truly and to connect with her more each and every day.

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I keep discovering new things about myself even now as a sophomore at OU. Being in a large and diverse environment where people have the same passion and goals as me has helped me center myself and focus more on my future and my present-self. I even changed my major over this past summer to Professional Writing because of the encouragement I received by people I hadn’t even known for a year.

Changing my major was a huge step for me: I am stepping out of my comfort zone and diving headfirst into my dreams that I never thought would be possible to reach. A year ago, I never thought I would be where I am now and I probably wouldn’t recognize myself for the most part. College has changed a few things about me-in a good and surprising way.

How did I find myself?

I spent a lot of time with friends-new and old. My first semester, I didn’t have a job. Which was nice and gave me the time to adjust from a small town to a huge University. I spent almost all my downtime making new friends and being spontaneous with them. We often even just sat together in our cramped dorm room doing our homework, joking occasionally.

I learned to impress myself, not others. High school hard-wires teenagers to care what others think of them. In college, no one really cares. We’re all trying to figure life out while struggling with classes, relationships, jobs, and so much more. Life is chaotic and it’s okay to not focus on your image so much.

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I tried to get involved. Key word: tried. I applied for at least a handful of different organizations. Halfway through my interviews, I dropped the rest of my applications and stopped my progress with the others. I was overwhelmed and didn’t feel connected to the organizations. Instead, I focused on myself. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get involved but I am saying it’s okay not to. 

I spent a lot of time listening to those around me that came from different backgrounds. We were all different but struggled in the same way for the first few months of freshman year. I connected with my friends through failed tests, homesickness, and being thrown headfirst into living independently. 

I tried new things. I became more spontaneous-something I always wanted to be. I ended up sticking with the quote, “Eh, why not?” This alone has left me with enough memories to last me a lifetime. Trying new things can be hard but it can be extremely enlightening.

I took a leap of faith. I contemplated my major for months on end. I spent many nights crying and stressing over if I was going to regret my major. When finally, over the course of a two hour drive home to see my parents, I decided to take the risk and switch to Professional Writing. This was a hard decision for me because I was scared. Now, barely two months later, I’ve never been more happy and excited about my major.