Sorry. I wrote this entire post and could not think of a worthy title. So, think of it as an adventure, diving into this post with no idea where it will take you…enjoy.
One of the things that makes college life-changing is that, for the first time in your life, your’e surrounded by people who are different than you. This might sound weird at first. You might think, “Wait a minute, I’ve been around people that are different than me before” but college, at least for me, was the first time I was completely submersed within a group of people who were truly different than I was in so many more aspects than I was used to. People who come from different places, have different backgrounds, different beliefs, different talents, different passions, and different morals. It makes things so much more interesting. It allows you to understand that there are other views and opinions regarding all aspects of life, just like there are all over the world. Once we realize they are there, our whole world is enlightened and we can learn to be understanding of others, even if we don’t agree with them. Having come from a small town, living in Columbus widened my perspective greatly. It made me realize that I didn’t have to be exactly similar to a person in order to be friends with them. Some of my very best friends are extremely different than me, whereas in high school, my group of friends was exceptionally similar. We all did the same activities and sports and were in the same classes. Not to say that my high school friends weren’t awesome but being around different people in a different environment allowed me to better understand diversity. The world is a big place and I’ve only been exposed to a very, very small fraction of it but you don’t have to go far to begin to see differences.
In the same realm of all of this excitement, is also difficulty. Sometimes I think my personality allows for me to be highly manipulated. I’m a people-pleaser by nature. So, when I am surrounded by people with different beliefs than mine, I find it extremely difficult to stand up for mine. When I am in a group of people with the same beliefs, like I was when I was home, it is easy to talk about such thoughts together. But to talk about something you believe to people who don’t believe that same thought is really difficult. And I’m ashamed to admit that, because if you reference previous posts, I have repeatedly encouraged to be yourself. So, here you are, becoming enlightened by others, which is sometimes overwhelming and now you have to take your previous background (how you grew up), and combine it with your new experiences to determine who you are. Sometimes I let myself become so influenced by others that I begin to lose track of who I am, Just me. Not me, under the influence of others.
The motive behind this post is a feeling I had the other day, when I was alone. I was thinking how it was kind of complicated how all the different aspects of my life worked together, so convoluted, in fact, I began to think I was wrong or that I was contradicting some areas of my life when I was involved with other areas of my life. Do all areas of my life match up?
My first flaw in trying to solve this dilemma was that I thought that when I was with other people, I had to be just like them. This is untrue. Even though most of the people we hang out with generally share the same interests as ourselves, we don’t have to be exactly similar. In fact, the dynamic of friendship is more successful when the group contains differences. My second flaw was that I thought there was a certain correct or incorrect mix of qualities a person can be. Actually, I think that who we are is a mix of so many different things that it will be completely different than everyone else. Everyone else. There is only one you, so take your interesting combination of assets and use them for awesomeness, As far as being manipulated by others, I’m trying really hard to not let it happen. You;re entitled to your own beliefs in the same exact way that others are entitled to theirs. Sometimes we need reminded of this.. This isn’t to say that people are going to happily accept your beliefs and ideas with open arms, unfortunately some people are assholes. Don’t hang out with them, But the truth is, if they are really your friends, they will be understanding. Even when it isn’t easy, remember what makes you, you and don’t do something just because other people are.
We’ve almost made it to the weekend. You can make it! Happy Thursday.