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The Obsession with Reinventing Ourselves in College

The idea of reinventing ourselves in college is undeniable. We all flock from our small-town (or big-town) high schools ready to become a new version of ourselves. Why? Why do we all feel like it is so necessary to become someone new in college? Why do we feel like we have to add to the already drastic change of starting a new school? 

This period of time is so transformative. People enter college as one person and leave as someone completely different. Why do we all feel drawn to the idea of reinventing ourselves in college?

Speaking as a freshman in college, I’ll admit the idea of a personal makeover and reinvention was tempting. I came from a small high school where people knew too much about each other, and I was beyond ready to leave. Sometimes, when you go to a small school you become “stuck” in who you are; people know you a certain way and you feel like not much can be done to change their perception. Herein lies the motivation for reinvention. Personally, I was a timid and introverted person in high school, one of those kids who didn’t speak unless spoken to. I welcomed the change of college. I couldn’t wait to become the person I always hoped to be: social, extroverted, and happier. Honestly, it was tough figuring out how to stay true to myself while becoming someone different. It’s not easy to become “yourself” when you’re so used to being a certain way. However, the way I changed wasn’t by acting completely different or doing the opposite of what the “old me” would’ve done, but by simply finding my confidence. I’ve tried to forget the opinions of everyone else and just do what makes me happy and feel like my most authentic self.

From a more objective standpoint, it’s clear to see that college is advertised as a new beginning, as a fresh start. Of course people are going to take this opportunity to transform themselves. Colleges (usually) are places where we don’t know anyone, and no one knows our past. It provides a clean slate, where no one knows that embarrassing story from sophomore year of high school that’s been haunting you. College is the perfect opportunity to become someone new when no one even knows who you used to be.

With all that being said, there is still no real reason to reinvent ourselves in college, but it is a time of self-discovery and growth. So do what makes you happy and if that means changing a little, go for it.

Grace Kelly

St. John's '25

Grace is a freshman at St. John's University majoring in Adolescent Education with a concentration in English. She enjoys reading, writing, exploring the city, and watching rom-coms in her free time.
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