College and A Brand New You

Big transitions bring about big lifestyle changes. When you first started high school, you replaced your wardrobe, began talking to new people (about new things), and took on new activities. You packed up childhood belongings and left old hobbies behind. A segment of your life got swept into the closet and room was made for the brand new.

People do the same thing when they go to college. In this author’s opinion, shy students tend to change the most. In elementary school, he was shy. Public speaking gave him nightmares and spastic tremors. Strangers, especially loud, outgoing ones, were the bane of his existence. But as you get older, you start to realize that no one in this world is truly ‘shy’. At some point, everyone makes an effort to open up and put themselves out there. It’s especially easy for people to talk for hours on end given the right kind of company. And sharing your life with others is what makes it fundamentally worthwhile.

In general – if you feel dissatisfied or somewhat unfulfilled in high school, you’ll have a longer list of reasons to create a new you in college. You might find better friends, better lifestyles, more excitement, and other compelling reasons to do a total makeover. Even if you had a great time already, you’ll probably be looking forward to an even better experience in college.

By all means, go for it.

But do keep one bit of advice in mind – don’t forget who you are in the process. No matter how much you want to change certain qualities, habits, or quirks about yourself, there is no wishing away your past. The closest thing you get is self-denial, and self-denial is nothing more than a temporary band-aid. Temporary can be months, years, or even decades. Real self-improvement is the real solution.

Make a resolution to dedicate the next four years of your life to gradual, healthy change. Improve on your weak points and work on understanding who you really are. Cherish your personality.

These days, this author loves talking to people. Chatting with strangers and colleagues feels no different from chatting with friends. Stick him in any city in any part of the world and he’ll get by just fine. But put him in a barren room with nothing but books and food and he could probably hold out for a good month too. He used to hide this from others, but in reality, he enjoys quiet in his personal life. He also enjoy the thrill of meeting new people and exploring all pockets of the world. It’s the balance that he’s created , and it couldn’t have been accomplished without a strong sense of self.

Embrace the realities of your life. College changes your personality, but you will find that so much of it is transitional, that even into your 20s and 30s, you will still be pulling on internal levers to adjust who you are. The premise of adulthood is forever exclusive and way more belated than most people make it out to be. Never will you get to a point where you simply sit down and say, ‘I’m done growing.’

So set yourself up for the right kinds of change. Love yourself. Appreciate yourself. And keep your mind open – to both the future as well as the past.