The College Stereotype: Finding Yourself

CollegeStereotypesLaurenJohnsonSince we were young, our elders constantly painted a picture of what college would be like: the daunting exam weeks, the role of Greek life, the temptations of the party scene – we’ve heard it all. But one specific go-to idea about university life has brought on the pressure big time. No, it’s not the pressure to make a 4.0 or avoid the Freshman 15. It’s the constant pressure to “find out who you really are.”

Sure, college is about making mistakes and learning from them–no one is denying that.

These are challenging times. Whether you’re a freshman who just survived first semester, or a senior buying your cap and gown for graduation, we’ve all had our fair share of pressure. The real nightmare is the cookie-cutter young adults we’re expected to be when graduation time does roll around–the expectation that at the young age of 22 or 23, college kids are expected to have core values and plans for the future set in stone is a scary thought.

You can’t spell college without self-discovery, apparently.

People are always changing. Permanent values and self-worth cannot be decided in four short years of upper-level schooling. Four years is a very small fraction of our lives. Who decided that “the greatest four years of your life” were dominated by an unnecessary huge quest for self-discovery? It’s a pretty intense quest, honestly.

Life experiences happen in any stage of life. Living on the same campus for four years studying a few dozen classes certainly won’t prepare us for everything life has to throw at us, and making it seem like it will is pretty intimidating.

There’s a popular saying floating around these days: “Keep on keepin’ on.” The equivalent would be to “go with the flow”. And you go, Glenn Coco. Go with that flow and be proud of it! Take a load off–kick your feet up. Know that your indecisiveness of what political party you support, the thought of whether you’re ever going to get married or even where you’ll be in five years don’t make you a lost cause.

Finding yourself right away is overrated. It will come in its own time. Meanwhile, roll with the punches and enjoy life as it comes.

Photo by Lauren Johnson


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