To the College Student Struggling to Find their Way

Entering college, I thought I knew exactly where I was headed. I thought I knew what my purpose was, where I was destined to belong in the world. I was excited to enter my freshman year, I really believed it would be one of the best years of my life. If I’m being completely raw and true and honest, instead of being one of the best years of my life, freshman year has been a frustrating one. Everyone was always so impressed with me when I was able to respond right away to the question, “What do you want to do with your life?” because I thought I had the right answer. As it turns out, there really was no right answer to that question.

Many people go into college with a purpose, a knowledge of what they want to get out of their four years. I wanted to be one of those people so badly that I put myself into a box. I closed myself off from anything other than what I thought I was here for. I was standing in a puddle of quick-dry cement. I didn’t understand why I was being forced to take classes that had nothing to do with my plans for the future, and I felt like I had been put into that box by other people, instead of taking responsibility for my own close-mindedness. I wanted so badly to dive right into my career interest, that I lost sight of needing to learn the basics first.

 My advice? Don’t be like me.

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It became all I could think about how I felt like I didn’t belong here or that I had it more figured out than everybody else because truth be told, I most certainly did not. Being so close-minded my first semester caused me to miss out on so many moments that I really could have benefitted from. The worst part was that I was blaming other people for it, like FAFSA for not providing enough financial aid to get into that fashion-business school, or just the university itself for not providing me with what I desperately desired. I was blaming everyone and everything but myself and looking back on it now, I realize that was the primary reason for my troubles. I wasn’t taking initiative or responsibility.

I went home for winter break and really had to re-evaluate my reason for why I was at school in the first place. I spent so much time during my first semester dwelling over things out of my control that it ultimately slowed me down. I was so frustrated over the classes that I was being forced to take that I never realized how beneficial they are, especially for someone who is going into business like me. I was so focused on the fact that there wasn’t really anything offered on campus for what I was interested in doing, that it was bringing me down. Right before winter break, I had had a meeting with my academic advisor and I left feeling heartbroken because it felt like the end of the world knowing that there could be opportunities and experiences that I was missing out on. Something I had an extremely hard time realizing (and I’m so glad I did) was that opportunities are not just handed to you. You are responsible for creating them.

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My university has so much to offer me and it is up to me to go out there and take advantage of it. I had to remind myself that not everyone is lucky to have what I do and that is an amazing education backed by a strong, supportive university. So, my final word of advice to the struggling college student that just can’t seem to find their way; don’t give up yet. I promise that there is something there for you. All it takes is that initiative, that drive to go out there and find it. You are here for you and your future, no one else’s. Take advantage of that and make it your own.