April 5, 2016
Who am I? It’s a question that we ask ourselves all the time. We think we know in middle school until we get to high school and everything changes. We go through the four years of high school and make important decisions like if we are going to college or not, where we are going to college if that’s the path we decide, what will be our major, maybe pick up a minor, where to live and so on. We graduate with these decisions in mind and goals set and then we enter the next stage of our lives. I chose the college path; I know people and am very close with a few who didn’t choose college, at least not for right now. I don’t know first hand who they are becoming and how they see themselves but I do know that they are constantly changing as well. Some have decided to start college a year from now, some have decided to continue working a job they’ve been loyal to and continue to learn about themselves and some have decided to serve our country. That’s all I know in that aspect so this post is about finding who you are in college.
I started college three years ago, which is really weird to think about and I had to double check that yes, I will be finishing my junior year in just a few short weeks. When I started school my dad said his famous words of “you know who you are and don’t forget it” and probably some other really motivating and kind words but lets be honest, who wasn’t a mess when their parents left them after unpacking their tiny college dorm? When I started school I had a boyfriend (Huck) from high school, I’m still with him, as I’m sure most people who keep up with my posts already know. I started school leaving all of my friends, family, boyfriend, cats, and basically life, as I know it thinking I knew exactly whom I was. I knew I was going to change, grow up, learn new things and hopefully be a better person but other than that I didn’t really know what to expect.
After three years I can tell you I’m still not sure who I am. I know what I want to do, I’ve stuck with my major, hesitantly stuck with my minor (thanks to the support from family and literal help from Huck), still a strong Christian, have the same best friends since elementary school plus a few more, and have still kept a good head on my shoulders…at least I think so. Other than that, though, I’m not sure. My parents tell me they are proud of who I am and what I’m doing and I know that. I appreciate it more than they know but I think there’s still more to me than just what I display. I think everyone eventually sees that along the way in college in particular but also just in this time of life.
I say in college in particular because in college we are pretty much forced to live with at least one other person for the next four years. I know there are options to be in a single dorm and a one-bed room apartment but most people don’t know if they really have the confidence or assurance to do that. We learn more about ourselves by the company we keep, whether it’s good or bad. My freshman year, living in my dorm room with a girl I knew from high school, I learned that I really like my own space, like I need my own space. We didn’t have any major issues, I feel like we were a pretty normal set of roommates but I knew within a month or so that I could never share a room with someone ever again. My sophomore year I moved into an apartment with three other girls. I really started to learn more about myself this year because now Huck was at school with me, my high school friends were going through similar stuff as me, I learned that I can lose my patience really quickly, I need my own time and apparently I need more space than I thought. I learned that I can’t live with more than one maybe two people that aren’t blood or I have only known for less than two years, no matter who they are. I think this is because not only am I finding myself and learning about myself but so is everyone else around me, including the other three girls I live with. There is nothing wrong with that, you’re not going to get along with everyone you meet perfectly, you’re not going to always want to see the same people every day, you definitely won’t want to spend every waking hour with them and if you do, well good for you but I think maybe you should focus on yourself some.
Next year I will be moving into a new apartment with a new roommate and live in a two-bedroom apartment. I am really looking forward to the new experience. I’ve lived in the same place for 2 years with the same roommates with the exception of one swap. I know I’m still going to learn more about my new roommate and myself; I’m looking forward to both. This summer I will learn more about myself as I will be nannying and working an internship. I don’t expect any big changes in who I am nor do I want it. I like who I am, what I know right now. The people I have in my life that have been with my along the way have helped to shape who I am. Professors, friends, roommates, parents, mentors, enemies, Huck, group project members, next door neighbors, the parents of the children I babysit for, they have all influenced who I am. I haven’t let these people dictate my life or change it but they have all had an impact.
If two years ago someone told me that I was going to be writing a blog and sharing for actual people to read I would have laughed in their face. If I were having a bad night where I wasn’t sure of anything and Huck told me to go write to get my mind off it two years ago I would have asked him if he really knew me. If my mom told me to clean anything at all in the house two years ago to relieve stress I would have told her she was insane. If someone told me I would be going to the gym 2-3 times a week just because I would have thought they have the wrong Hannah Bailey. Just those three things have changed and made me who I am today and they’re huge. I will change more, grow more, mature, and learn new things but I know the things that I want to keep. I love the relationship I’m in, the friends I have, the support and love from my family I have, the mentors I have including the ones who don’t even know the influence they have on me (that would be you, Kristin and Jake ☺) and the hobbies I’ve picked up and I don’t want those to change one bit.
So for the people getting ready to start their journey after high school, the ones who have already started and still aren’t sure if they chose the right path, and the ones who are exactly where I am, I can’t really give you advise or tell you I’ve been there, done that, do what I do. All I can really tell you are, the traits, characteristics, and interests and loves that you have, don’t let them go. Don’t be afraid to start new things, meet new people, change up something in your life, and let yourself learn and grow.