By Shelby Tatomir
Reading and writing are my roots, making music, design, and photography sprouting branches of special interests that I am always striving to cultivate.
Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Therefore, to achieve success, it’s necessary to create goals aligning with your personal drive. College is a time for growth and self discovery. Part of that journey entails becoming comfortable in your own skin, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and developing befitting goals. The only way to know what you’ll be successful at in life is to try new activities as a student. Easier said than done, this modicum of advice is an advisory jumping off point; remind yourself of potential successes, rather than anticipating failure in the new things you do. Don’t assume you can’t paint or draw if you’ve never put time into an art class. Don’t tell yourself you don’t fit in when it comes to experiencing new activities if you’ve never tried on the role yourself. Dedicating your time to an unexplored endeavor, especially a class or club, results in feelings of fulfillment and belonging. These feelings will grow and transform, replacing the uneasy nerves you feel as a freshman with the confidence and self-actualization of a learned adult. Overall, college is a time dedicated to the understanding of your comfort level, while still pushing yourself to widen it.
Before college, living as a young student in high school allows for the refinement of one’s comfort zone. With limited responsibility in the teens years, some aren’t quite prepared for the complete reconstruction that is attending college. It’s easy to develop a simple routine that only consists of attending class, eating lunch, and returning to the dorms. but the amazing thing about college is that this is the only time in your life completely devoted to you. Be selfish. Get to know yourself, what you need in your daily routine to stay sane and happy. Take up a daily yoga routine, enroll in a self defense class, or create a gardening club if your college doesn’t already have one. These low stress yet high focus activities will bring calm and clarity to your daily routine.
Settling into a diminutive comfort zone can sneak up on you, should you choose to not acknowledge the signs. Freshman orientation and the first few weeks of classes are extremely nerve wracking and can be lonely. When you connect with someone on campus, and find a new friend you wholeheartedly get along with can be one of the most exciting experiences of going off to school. It’s important when you’ve found a “ride or die”kind of friend, that you don’t limit yourself to only hanging out with them. Though you two may have everything under the sun in common, it can isolate both of you from making other connections and branching out to your full extent. Go out of your way to spend time with new acquaintances, and even faculty and professors on campus. The most surprising people can teach you invaluable lessons if your eyes are open.
Remember, the only person judging you in your formative adult years is yourself. So, live up to your own expectations, listen to your gut, and remember this is a time for self reflection and development. Understand and grow in your own way, and don’t let insecurities override your desire to try something new, eccentric, “weird”or different. Creativity and individualism are highly valued in the minds of today’s leaders.