College is an exciting time. For many of us who choose this route, it is our first time out on our own. For 18 years you lived with your parent(s) or guardian(s), but if you decide to go and pursue higher education then you have to do things for yourself. Yes, you still may have the support of the people who raised you, but if you need their help you can’t just get out of bed, and walk down the hall and ask for it. Some students handle this transition with poise. They go to class, work, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and go out every now and again. There are also those individuals who have the opposite experience. Instead of enjoying everything in moderation, they go wild with their first taste of freedom. They barely pass their classes and you’re guaranteed to see them drinking and partying almost every night. You’re bound to run into a handful of these individuals throughout your time in college. And I wouldn’t be surprised if you were actually friends with some of them…
I have this friend that I’ve known for practically my entire life. For most of it she was this sweet and responsible girl. Her mom was very strict with her when we were growing up, which is probably why she rebelled when she went away to college. When we saw each other during our first break, I barely recognized who she was. She wasn’t the girl that I used to go ice skating with in the summer and who I spent countless of hours with at amusement parks. She had turned into someone who was completely reckless. She told me about how she participated in binge drinking, unsafe sex, and even drugs, and I was shocked that she had made this kind of transformation.
Even though it seemed as though she had gotten a little bit out of control, I realized that it was important for her to go through this change. She needed to do a little bit of exploring to find out who she was. Because she was under her mom’s thumb for most of her life, she did not have a chance to go through the same self-exploration that many of us were able to experience. I also knew that telling her what to do may have ended up making things worse. After having somebody control her life as much as her mom did, the last thing that she needed was for somebody else to do the exact same thing again. If I gave her enough time then she would come back to the person she was, and I was right.
The next time I saw her, she was back to the same person that I remembered. The reckless lifestyle had stopped, and she was engaging in typical college experiences in a responsible manner. It may have taken her a little while to get back to a place that wasn’t dangerous, but she did.
Positive thinker, everybody gets a little sidetracked from time to time, but it’s important to make sure that you come back. If you’re unhappy with the way your life is going, that might be a sign that you need to do some exploring of yourself. Sit down and really think about where you are and where you wanted to be. Try and remember how you got to be in this unhappy place, and then figure out a way to get back to the place where you were meant to be. This might mean that you may have to take a few steps backwards so that you can get back to the place that you left off on before you took this detour, and that’s okay. Then once you’re back to where you left off, you can see the alternate path that you should have taken and you can choose to go down that one instead of the one that you went down last time.
So remember, whenever you start to feel like you’re in a bad place just try and remember who you truly are. Once you’re reminded about that, you can finally get back to the place that you were meant to be!