Learn to be Selfish

Hey everyone! My name is Kylie Commet and I attend Michigan State University. I’m a sophomore pursuing a degree in Marketing and Sales Leadership. So far, it’s been a crazy, rocky road trying to figure out what to study in school and what my goals are after graduation, however, I think I’ve finally started to find some clarity in my future. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been anything close to easy. I’ve contemplated becoming a college dropout and turning in to a drifter an infinite number of times, however, I’ve learned that beyond each struggle in life, there is a rewarding triumph that makes the hardship not seem like such a burden. Seeing these rewards comes with patience and trust and is undoubtedly something that can be accomplished.
One of the most surprising and influential factors that has affected my success thus far has been my ability to learn to be selfish. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? For as long as I can remember, I was raised never to be selfish, not to put myself first, and to make generosity a key part of every day. I still believe in these values and know they are vital for success and happiness, however, there comes a point in time when a person has to think about their own personal gratification as well. It took me a good stretch into my college career to truly understand the meaning behind these words.
When I initially applied to Michigan State, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted my major to be. Honestly, I hardly even knew what it meant to have a major. I began asking the valued opinions of those around me and eventually started to shape a first year plan based on the judgment of others. I took classes that peers said would be “an easy 4.0,” not classes that reflected my interests. It wasn’t until midway through first semester of my freshman art history class that I realized I care no more for art than the typical 3 year old that mindlessly doodles on walls and scrap paper. This was the first red flag.
Second, I came into college with what I thought at the time was a serious boyfriend. I have nothing against those who date their high school sweethearts in college or anything to that affect, however, the long-distance love story just didn’t work out for me. It took me over an entire semester to realize I wasn’t truly happy and something needed to change. Break-ups are always hard and can be even harder when there is temptation to revert back to a comfort zone when loneliness creeps into the picture. It’s different for every person, but from personal experience, taking that leap of faith and allowing myself to be selfish was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve had more fun, freedom, and a stronger desire to meet new people since I’ve been single, which is what college is all about.
The third and final major aspect of selfishness I want to touch on, and possibly the most difficult for me to come to terms with, is money. I won’t sugar-coat this: I’m an extremely cheap and frugal person. I hate spending money and I hate being in debt. Any logical person would now question what I’m doing at a Big 10 University, and trust me, so did I for a very long time. I’m paying for college myself with hardly any money received from FAFSA or scholarships, which is why it was so difficult to trust that coming to Michigan State would be the right decision for me. With complete confidence in my words, I know with every fiber of my being, I made the right choice to be selfish and attend this college. It’s hard to express in words how grateful I am for the experiences incurred, the friends I’ve made, and the challenges that have made me stronger. When comparing these assets to my debt, money doesn’t stand a fighting chance of being more important. College has been an irreplaceable experience that I can only dream others will get to live one day. My word of advice on how to achieve this level of happiness and success: be selfish. Not always, but learn to take time for yourself, to do the things you want in life, to be free, foolish, and fearless. It’s guaranteed to be an experience like no other.

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