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What If I Don’t Know Myself in College? Find Out How To Figure it Out Here!

Growing up isn't easy, but it gets better! We promise!

Being a college student is hard. We wake up, chug caffeine, go to class, work, hang with friends, do homework, sleep. A never-ending cycle of the same thing every. single. day. As a sophomore, I feel as though it just keeps getting more stressful. Trying to figure out what makes you happy while also trying to figure out yourself, your major, friends, love life, or family. I felt like I just woke up one day after senior year and someone was like “Hey, you’re done with high school! Now in three months, you’ll be on your own and you’ll have to figure out what you’re doing for the rest of your life!” Then when you do get to college it’s a lot less scary than it actually seems, but your life feels like a mess. Stressful, crazy, hard, and tiring. But it’s also supposed to be the best time of years of your life, so why is it so hard?

            College was made to be a transitional period for people to figure out their life careers and then once achieve these jobs they can come back to earn even better education and advance in their careers. What we may not have thought about is how vulnerable of a time it is for people our age. We’re lost, figuring out what we can do without the people we’ve been with for the past thirteen years, being more alone than we ever have. We have to find ourselves so much during this time that maybe we’re not ready to continue our education? Well, they have gap years for a reason!

            So many people chose to start with their local community college, take a year off and work, or some maybe go off to something other than college. We all figure out with time what we want to do. 1 out of 10 college students change their major at least once. With thousands of students on college campuses, this is a large number. People our age are unsure of what their future holds, so why push ourselves to pick one thing your first year? Being undecided is normal and we shouldn’t have to feel bad for not knowing our future! With all the time we do have on our own, we’re able to figure out things about ourselves that we may not have been able to find out while in high school or living with our parents. This is a time for personal growth, and we must value and love ourselves before anything else!

            Finding your personal values.

Most of us grow up believing the same as our parents until we have the resources and ability to learn more than just what we grew up with. Whether that’s personal values, religion, personality, or social norms, it’s different for everyone and can be hard at first. Breaking off from what you know as normal for so many years is difficult for anyone to feel comfortable with, especially when it’s the complete opposite from those around you. When you find what you value, you find who you are a little more than before.

           Discovering that not everything is about you.

High school was hard. You were given all the things necessary to succeed, and yet you still were worried about what others thought about you. We all were following with drama, keeping with the clothing trends, knowing what was going on with everyone. The hard part is realizing that nobody cares about what you wear or what you do. We’re all on our own journeys through life and we can tend to stress so much on how others perceive us. College is an eye opener for this, and you’ll find this on day one. Even senior year of high school we tend to see this as well. We grew up thinking that we are going through life and everyone else is just there, but once we’re older, we see that it’s really all of us in the same boat. We are all just trying to get through life at the same time. But it’s okay to realize it’s not just you going through life, it just means you have to find your own purpose in this world.

Finding what you enjoy.

When you’re young, your parents push you to try everything that you want to when it comes to interests. But as we get older, we find that sports are a little more difficult to do on a daily basis. With a nine to five job, adults don’t have as much time as time as they need to do hobbies like sports where you play with other people. We tend to go towards things that are more casual and independent, like arts and crafts, working out, music, really anything you could do by yourself. With working, we want to come home to relax and destress, and often people use their hobbies to do so. Once you have a hobby, you’ll not only have fun but also you’ll find what your interests are a little more!

            Daily Chores.

We’re on our own. We get to pick what we eat, wear, buy, do, almost everything. But this also means we have to clean on our own, work more, run errands, maybe even buy cheaper meals. It’s difficult to grow up and accept that our lives are now a little harder because we don’t have the full support of our parents anymore. But that can be seen as an amazing thing. Being able to do as you please is rewarding. It’s really the big jump into adulthood and feels amazing. Even with the stress of a job or doing things on your own, it’s worth it because in the end you get to do what you want to do without asking for permission. You’re an adult now. Growing up is seeing that cleaning REALLY isn’t that bad, and that maybe $70 for a pair of pants isn’t the most practical thing for you right now. But in the end it helps your grow to be an independent adult.


We’re no longer stuck in our hometowns; we can do or be whatever we want without hesitation. Dye our hair fun colors, get piercings, do what we want to do. Growing up changes you as an individual and your needs and interests may be completely different than what they once were. Having a genuine personality is being able to be yourself regardless of what’s happening. This is a time for self-discovery and finding who you want to be is the best feeling. Hang with whoever you want, no one’s stopping you!

            While it may seem scary right now, it gets better. Maybe more stressful, but we’re on our own in this crazy world, and we’re doing the best that we can to be able to thrive and survive. Finding your individual self is key to success. The more you find yourself, the happier you will be! Adulting isn’t the worst thing in the world is it?

Hey, I'm Hunter!! I'm a Sophomore at St. Ambrose University just writing for fun:)
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