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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and grow; it will improve your life for the better. If you stay in the same place for the rest of your life, you will never find your true self. There’s not one thing to do to find the person you’re destined to be; it takes time and courage to get out of your comfort zone and be who you have wanted to be for a long time. Along with your courage, you must be motivated to get through the tough times and obstacles that will come your way when you are trying to get to the top. 

I am currently a student who just transferred to The University of Connecticut and is doing everything my younger self always wanted to do, but didn’t think I would do because I was too shy. I was too shy to speak in class, too shy to make new friends, too shy to start a YouTube channel, too shy to share my thoughts, and so much more. Today I am here on the UConn campus happier than ever because I realized that it is up to me to be successful and happy and not anyone else’s. 

The High School blues

High school can be fun at times, but there’s not much room to be who you truly are because there’s a lot of judgment coming from all different directions. Judgment on what you wear, who you hang out with, who you are dating, what classes you are taking, and what colleges you are applying to; you do things for other people when you are in high school because you want to look your best, but it’s not necessarily who you want to be. In my high school, as a girl, you needed to wear Lululemon leggings, Golden Goose sneakers, a state backpack, and Brandy Melville to be at least a little bit noticed, but not everyone could afford that, so you were considered a nobody. Most people try to keep up with the trends, but just because everyone else is wearing it doesn’t mean you have to. 

There are so many questions asked to you and it seems they only have a few correct answers, but that’s not true. Your future is not the same as your friends, your siblings, your enemy, or anyone; everyone has a different passion, a different aspiration, a different lifestyle, and a different future. Don’t be afraid to be different, because your uniqueness is why you are the way you are!

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College & Career

College is where people start to get a sense of who they want to be. Choosing a major and joining clubs and sports, we students may not even know what we want to do for the rest of our lives, but college and the people we surround ourselves with during this time give us more of a direction of what we want to do. 

Going into college, I was a business undecided major because I thought I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but that was not a normal or stable career; so going into my freshman year, I thought maybe I should do finance or marketing. After trying out those classes, I realized I did not want to major in them. After a while, I realized that just because it’s not a normal job that most people don’t do after college doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, which is where starting a business now came into play. Who am I? I am a college student who dreams of owning her own business when she is older and having a podcast that shares wellness and mental health tips with those who need more courage. 

This is the time to take some time for yourself to figure out what YOU want to be and go out in the world and find people that will encourage you to do better, not let you down.

Find what’s right for you

There’s not one thing everyone should do; that’s why we have choices. For example, not everyone goes to college after high school; there’s the military, gap years, working, starting a business, influencing social media, and so much more. Just because we are told to stick with a tradition doesn’t mean we have to; we should do what we want to do because we want to do it, not because we were told to do it. Try new things: post that picture on Instagram, post your first YouTube video, start a podcast, start a club at college, write a book; you should be the only person that cares what you are doing because it’s your life and your future, not anyone else’s. Find the real you, not the fake you!

Patti Oliva

U Conn '24

Hi! I am a Junior at The University of Connecticut in HerCampus!