One of the biggest reasons I started this blog was because I knew there were other people my age who were lost in the path they should take post high school. It is definitely a lot of pressure at such an important time in your life. You spend 13 years being told exactly what to do and where to go, then once you graduate it’s like…well, now what? You are suddenly bombarded with letters from colleges around you, teachers & parents alike asking what your plan is, your high school best friends persuading you to follow their path. It’s hard to think for yourself.
Now, I think I need to state that education is AMAZING, and if you know what your path is and what you want to pursue, college is an awesome idea. It’s great that you know what you want to do. But, there are plenty of us who have absolutely no idea. I mean looking back at my 18 year old self, I was a completely different person. I was shaped from the people in my high school, with sports, clubs, classes, you all form friends from these few selections you have. You’re easily guided from other people (friends, family, teachers, coaches) about what would be best for you. Which is definitely good, but also negative. That’s what makes the future so scary, you have some big choices to choose about your life when a year ago you had to ask to go to the bathroom.
After graduating, I went straight to a college not too far away, knowing I will recognize a lot of people from my high school. It assured me I won’t be alone during this big step in my life. BUT, here I am, turning 21 in less than a week, living in Colorado above a garage with my best friend & our overly-loved pets having the time of my life. & how did I get here? From all the time I spent alone, finding out who I really am and what I really want.
Social interaction is huge at our age. Parties, social drinking, having a bunch of roommates. It is the norm for college to always be with your friends, creating crazy memories & making silly, scandalous decisions together. But one thing I cannot preach more is how much being ‘alone’ has helped me grow. Whether it’s staying in and watching a movie by yourself, going for a walk, reading, writing, shopping, or even just driving around town blaring your favorite playlist. Being alone creates your deepest, real thoughts. Which creates real emotion. Some people are scared to be alone, have silence, because it can create some raw, deep thoughts that you try to hold back and hide away when with a bunch of people. When you think about what YOU want, your passions can start to unfold. You can question your current lifestyle & see what you love, what you can improve, and what is hurting you from growing.
I am definitely an introverted person, but don’t get me wrong, I love me some good friends and good times. But you need the yin with the yang. You need the crazy nights just as much as you need the simpleness of chillin’ with your pets on the couch with some Netflix. Being alone has made me question what I’m currently doing with my life, why I’m hanging out with who I am, why I’m with the man I’m with. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing, it can also be a calming reassurance that you are happy & it is because of who you’re with/where you’re at. But if you have some dark demons in your closet, it can kind of be overwhelming but that’s how you grow & accept & move on – which is extremely positive & healthy.
I have changed 100% since I was in high school, even just a year ago. I keep growing & keep learning about myself and my goals in life or just day by day. I am very thankful, in my own personal case, that I stopped going to college because I had literally NO idea what I wanted, I didn’t know who I was. At 19 I could write a research paper, but too scared to call the doctor’s office myself to make an appointment. I could pass a class, but didn’t know how to open up my own bank account. I was learning subjects in school, but with real-world issues and problems I was lacking. I was paying thousands of dollars as a teenager, just cause it’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s the norm in other countries to take 2-3 years off after high school graduation to really enjoy life & figure out who you are. Educate yourself by traveling & seeing other cultures and lifestyles. Doing so, I have found myself, found my passions, found my true friends, and what I truly want out of my life.
So no, I am not telling you to drop out of college, but I am saying alone time is key to spiritual growth and development of yourself. Letting your mind and your thoughts flow fluidly with no outside influences. The more you can find yourself, and be yourself, be able to express how you really feel, people tend to respect you more. It takes a lot of guts to be yourself, in a world that wants otherwise. & negative opinions you hear from other people about your lifestyle is barely heard, because you go to bed at night truly content with your life because it’s making you happy. & happiness is what we’re all striving for. 🙂
until next time,