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Evolving out of your High School Self: Growth is in!

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 Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Growth and change are arguably the scariest things we experience in our lives. Stepping in and out of new eras in your life, outgrowing friends who stay stagnant, finding your passions, and the overall internal shift you go through as you evolve both physically and mentally is a lot to take in. I’ve come to find that what’s more terrifying than growing up and shifting into what feels like a new person every so often is the thought of staying the same. I’ve always found it interesting when people use the phrase “you’ve changed” with some sort of negative connotation attached to it. Perhaps those who question your evolution are those who realize you’re either not there to be pushed around anymore or you’re on a path to better yourself, which is something they think they cannot do themselves. Having a little more pep in your step in terms of truly feeling who you are is one of the most freeing experiences. It’s time we start craving the idea of growth and empowering others to endure it themselves.

The first thing that excited me about moving forward in life was finding my voice. As someone outgoing with the typical “type A” personality, people may assume that those with this persona don’t have a voice to find. However, to me, the true meaning of finding your voice has nothing to do with being able to chat for hours or your “obnoxious” nature, but rather, it means finding the voices in your head that push you to who you want to become. We all have voices in our heads that lead us to make rash or rational decisions, the voice that tells you if you look good today or if you just “feel ugly” even though you look the exact same as you did the day before. I’ve found that when evolving from my high school self, I started to view things in a more positive and hopeful sense.I forced myself to leave most of those self-deprecating voices in my head behind. The shift from the envy that someone looks “better than you” to the upfront “you look so good” says it all. The biggest thing that held me back in high school was myself. My transition from my grade nine self, who felt nervous to show her true self in fear that others wouldn’t be comfortable with who I was, to myself now, who is unapologetically herself with much less of a feeling of worry if I’m “too much.” Your internal growth journey is so fulfilling and those around you will start to recognize it when you start to shine a little bit brighter than before.

Going home during the first reading week of the first year felt different. I complained endlessly about returning to what seemed like such a small, stagnant town that I thought I’d already outgrown. I started to get this feeling that I wasn’t on the same page as the people in my life who were once my whole world. It felt like everyone’s life who I grew up with and loved just moved on without me. It was really hard to process. Instead of beating myself up and shifting back to my old self in fear that I maybe wasn’t the girl they once knew in years prior, I turned that negative energy into gratitude. Instead of being unappreciative of what and who had shaped me when I went home, I became grateful that I was lucky enough to make a great group of friends in university and come home to the same group of friends who had helped me through my journey of growth throughout my early stages of figuring out who I was. I feel grateful to have made the decision to live in a new city where I’ve never been before and grateful to return home to my cozy neighbourhood with familiar faces. Growth, for me, is learning perspective.The new perspective I have about change is refreshing, to say the least.

The transition from high school to university has taught me many things. I now look at life as an opportunity to make every day better than the last. When you really think about it, changing and growing can be the most rewarding feelings if you just allow yourself to. While being overly controlling at times and having a rather impatient personality, not being in direct control of every change that happens in my life has not always been a walk in the park. But I’ve really started to appreciate the fact that everything that happens, every new person I meet and every new experience I have is for a reason. It’s all going to work out in your favour in the end, whether you like to believe it or not. So, surround yourself with people who accept and empower your different eras, be grateful for your past and don’t abandon it and take a risk because good or bad, everyone needs a little character development every once in a while!

Peace & Love

Gracee Zagordo

Wilfrid Laurier '26

Hi, I'm Gracee! I'm a second-year Political Science major in the Sussex Program. My dream is to live out my Legally Blonde fantasy (even though I'm brunette) and attend law school next year in Brighton, England, at the University of Sussex. I'm a sucker for a rom-com, anything Taylor Swift and the Christmas season in my small town. I love to write about my personal experiences with school, relationships and life in general, so feel free to stick around!