Being called selfish really has its own nasty ring to it. But in your collegiate years, what else are you supposed to be?
At the tail end of my senior year of high school, I realized I had been a selfless person. I dedicated my time and energy to others’ problems and lives and had nothing left for myself. I didn’t give myself any dedication. I was lost in a world that I willingly gave away. I became so selfless that I completely lost my sense of self.
Deciding to fix my lost reality came at a hefty price, but it’s a price I’ve never regretted paying. I essentially uprooted my life. I lost nearly all of my friends from high school. I spent months alone finding what I enjoyed, who I was, and what I wanted. I went to school out of state. I became a completely different person. A person I actually knew.
Going into college, I decided I was going to give everything I had to myself, and I would eventually find the people who would actually be good for me instead of just filling the space. This was the best decision I have ever made. I gained confidence in my personality, my intelligence, the decisions I was making, and the people I let into my life. I gave myself leeway when there once was strict adherence to guidelines I created. Instead of forcing myself into a mold of what I believed other people needed, I got rid of the parameters altogether. I became selfish in the sense that I let myself live, without restriction, without scolding, without limits. Selfish in the sense that I know who I am.
And you should too.
Your college years, the late teens, and the early twenties, are the freest years you will ever experience in your life. Why shouldn’t this time be spent on you? Why shouldn’t you get to choose what you want to do, be, and experience? Spend time alone, and learn how to be alone without feeling lonely. Develop your personality in these formative years. Do what you want to do. Be confident in your decisions, even if they end up not being the right ones. Learn how to accept defeat without letting it tear you down. Learn how to be wrong, and how to apologize. Learn how to not apologize when you don’t need to. Stop spending time on things and people that don’t benefit you. Be what you want to be. It doesn’t matter if it’s considered cool or trendy. If you want to be something, be it wholeheartedly, and do not apologize for who you are.
Lastly, and most importantly, rely on yourself. You know yourself more than anyone knows you, use this to your advantage. You are the only person you will be with your entire life, so you are the only person that can take care of you when nothing else seems to work. Know that you have survived every bad day, and you will survive the rest. If you have a safe place inside of you, the things around you won’t shake you as much. You’ll be okay.
I remember reading something years ago that said, “you can change your entire life in a matter of minutes.” So I did, and you can too if you’re not in the place you want to be. We were given this single life by chance. You have this single, incredible opportunity to make decisions for yourself and create the life you want. So, be selfish.