Collegiate Struggles: On Authenticity

Once you’re on your way to becoming the professional you’ve been dreaming of for so long the question suddenly stops being “What do I want?” and becomes “Who do I want to be?”

In order to answer this question, we must address the underlying issue that has plagued us all since middle school: “Who am I?”

And regardless of what we’d like to think, - that we’re adults and we know who we are and what we want - college is still all about self-explorations and self-discovery. It’s about who we want to be for ourselves, and who we want to be for others. The tensions are set forth because judgments and social hardships desperately need addressing and managing. If we are ever to have a hope of living a life of joy and authenticity, we must be able to identify and connect with who we are, and how far that person is from who we want to be.

Authenticity is honesty’s tactful cousin. It presents itself in a form of glow, and knows how to access that glow constantly. It inspires others to find ways to access their own glow - and motivates them to grow.

In order to find out who we are, we must give ourselves a hard look in the mirror and observe critically. We must ask those around us to give us feedback on who they think we are, and who they perceive us to be. We will always be a different person during every interaction, and in order to allow authenticity into our lives, we must be clear on intention.

In order to discern who we want to be, it is imperative to look towards those great leaders we admire and find out why they mean so much to us. What do they offer? What did they do? How did they do it? These leaders were not sent from Heaven, nor were they godly. They were humans who developed a set of habits and goals - and they were clear on those set goals.

Who is it that you want to become? Who do you want to embody?

Take time to think about the person you admire the most, and identify your differences. It is only by measuring the discrepancies in personalities, habits, and actions that we will ever be able to have an intention clear enough to set it in motion.

Authenticity, regardless of the commonplace notion, is about the person you want to be and your confidence in achieving that goal. Your intention will fuel your passion in order to set it and act on it every day.

And so, as the semester comes to an end, take time to reflect on who it is that you’ve been, and who you want to become.

I know you can make it.

Just make sure to know it, too.