Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Yourself!

Angelica De Stefano is a recent graduate of Georgia State University. She has a B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. You can always find her looking up airplane tickets to see where her next adventure lays.

Like most youths being sent off to the land of higher education, we all have had that talk with a parent or guardian (or whomever is that adult figure in your life) about staying true to yourself. And just like many other conversations had with these important people in our lives, you might have not been listening. This conversation should be different. College, for many, is a place where they can finally be free from overbearing parents, early curfews and the ups and downs of high school social life. This is a time when many find who they are and who they want to become. Unfortunately, this can also be a time where many lose themselves in being part of this massive crowd of potential long-term friends, colleagues and strangers that you’ll never get to know.
College is filled with a vast array of people and you will probably never have the chance again to be immersed in this type of environment. You should embrace every aspect of it, but that doesn’t mean you need to assimilate. Be your own person; there is no need to fit into a specific mold that will gain you access to the crowd with the biggest friend circle or social event calendar.
STOP comparing yourself to every other person that passes you by! Get rid of the need to be like others and just be yourself! As cliché as that sounds, just do you. If you live your life comparing yourself to others you are never going to win and you are going to go through the game of life always placing yourself one step behind someone. Everyone is different, in so many ways, and that is what makes human interaction so wonderful. If everyone had the same thought, action, or gestures, then what would be the fun in ever being in the presence of others? When you could just look at yourself in the mirror and obtain the same knowledge or point of view as interacting with someone identical to you.
Do whatever you want, but do it because you want to not because everyone else is doing it. There are always going to be people just like you that have not experienced certain things. There will be those who will lie about affairs that they have done, so don’t think you are the only one that has not done certain matters. There is nothing wrong, weird, or lame about you if you say no to something that make you feel uncomfortable. Your friends will understand when you don’t want to participate in a certain activity, and if they don’t, that is the definition of people who are not your friends. No person or group of people are worth doing anything that you are not comfortable with. If these “friends” of yours are pressuring you into doing something, just walk away and you will find people that will accept you for you.
Have fun, be yourself and these will be the best years of your life!

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