Finding yourself’ isn’t easy… having hope is

Finding yourself isnt easy... having hope is

by Sarah LefeberEditor in Chief

In high school, I never knew what people were talking about when they said they “found themselves” in college. I knew who I was. I knew what I wanted. I knew where I fit into the world and what I believed in, regardless of what happened in my life.

As I sit here writing this column, however, I have to admit that who I thought I was four years ago, for better or worse, is not the same person now sitting in front of my laptop. Somewhere along the way, without my knowing it, I changed.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve stayed up at night questioning the things in my life that I thought were unshakable. I have sat through classes that have challenged what I thought I knew. I have walked out of them, backpack slung over my shoulder, having just listened for an hour and fifteen minutes to someone dispute everything I thought I knew.

Sure, the big issues are bound to get questioned during college. I can’t tell you the amount of times one of my friends, either a best friend or someone I just barely know, has told me that they don’t believe in the same religion they once did. It can be easy to become swallowed up in the world of ideas, never knowing where you fit into the system you had previously thought you understood completely.

But I take that as a given. Most of us grew up with the same pastor, the same church, the same support system telling us what to believe in. Now we’re here. We can make our own decisions. Those kind of deep-water beliefs need to be questioned, and they need to be tested.

But it can be scary. Being away from your friends and family and going through the wringer of humanity’s deepest questions can make you feel like a “Dawson’s Creek” character. Don’t laugh. I know you all watched it.

But now, in my senior year of college, I’ve come to a realization: It’s okay if we don’t know everything. It’s okay that we change. We’ve grown. We’ve learned. What we think and feel naturally have to change as well.

One of my favorite professors told me my freshman year that you can’t help how you feel. You can control how you react to how you feel, but the emotions themselves are always there, because they’re real.

It’s okay. We’re in college. If you don’t know what to think, talk to people. Get in a fight with someone during class, and thank me later when your participation points go up.

Just don’t give up. Somewhere between burying your head under the covers and shouting at the next person who asks you to describe yourself, you’ll find your answers.

No matter what, whether you remain unmoved in college or whether you change daily, as I often find I do, my one piece of advice is that you have faith that you’ll figure it out.

Whether it be in yourself, in a higher power or simply that life will go on after finals, it doesn’t matter what you have faith in, as long as you keep it.