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Student Blog: Becoming Your Best You

If you feel stuck, it’s never too late to change it around.

Who were you in high school? How did you feel when you were younger, whether it be a few years ago or ten years ago? How would your younger self feel about your current self? A lot of these questions have been circulating in my mind over the past few months. How have I changed over the years and has it been for better or worse? If you were like me in elementary school, your teachers always put on your report cards things like "is a pleasure to have in class" or "Olivia is friends with everyone in the class." You know, all the positive things every parent wants to hear about their child. And I really was that kid, I wanted to be friends with everyone and I always tried my best to be inclusive as well as respectful both inside and outside the classroom.

Then middle school seemed to be the downfall of that nice little girl. We all have our own personal obstacles to face and being in middle school is probably one of the worst places you could be when that's going on. Or at least that's how it was in my case. I started to shed that nice personality into someone you wouldn't want to be around. That only seemed to continue as I got older and transitioned into high school. I also went to a very small school district, so you can imagine what it's like to be around the same people for so long. But high school was the time in my life where I really became aware of how negative I was and I didn't like the person I was. Constantly keeping up this negative and mean personality feels a lot heavier than some may think. But still, I couldn't seem to just snap out of it. At some point, it feels like that's just the person you are and you can't flip a switch to change it. So, I became that pessimistic, snarky, judgmental person even though in my head I was going, "why are you acting like this?" I did still keep up my respect and all things related in the classroom or in professional settings, but that negativity did begin to bleed into that side of me too. I didn't want to do my school work and I would have an attitude sometimes and overall I was just not that sweet person I was raised to be.

Like I mentioned before, we all have our personal obstacles and high school threw some major hardships at me, but I didn't realize until recently that the reason I may have been so negative was because I was sad, hurt, and angry. This is when I recognized that I could become my best self. One of the things I needed to do to break away from that negativity was go to a college where I knew no one. You may have heard before that college is where you can reinvent yourself, and it really is. When you know no one, you have the opportunity to start over and introduce yourself in any way you want. For me, I missed my younger self and wanted to go back to the nice person I knew I could be. I never felt good in high school, because I was pushing away any positivity I had. And reinventing yourself isn't as difficult as you may think. If there was ever some personality stuck inside you that you felt like you had to hide until one stage of your life was over, I encourage you to make the change that you so desperately want to. It's freeing, really. Some don't want to revert back to their old ways, but I needed to, so that I could regain my sense of self.

It can be a healing process. You could even say it's therapeutic. Diving deeper into that, therapy may be a way for you to start that healing process. That is one tool I have appreciated so much with starting college. Life after high school still has many challenges, and college is not easy either, so having a way where you can discuss your troubles and work on ways to cope with them has been extremely helpful for me. Getting to the root of some of your grievances is also a large part of what I believe helps you truly heal and also be able to reinvent yourself. I needed to be told that some of the things I did were because I was dealing with something much larger. You can also pinpoint when you feel you started to move in a negative direction. I suffered a major loss, one that I had not regularly experienced, and it broke me down to the point where I became that person I didn't want to be. I also needed to be told that some things I did were not justified. Those can be the more difficult times when you want to ignore what you're being told, but addressing those situations is what you need to start fresh.

Now, you may not be in college like I am, as we all have very different experiences, but college has been my time to reintroduce myself as the person I want to be. If you feel stuck in a place right now where you don't really like who you've become, it's never too late to change it around. It takes time, but I promise it's worth it. I now have made some great friends who know me as the person I want to be, and not the negative person I was back then. But you don't have to hide your past self either, you can be appreciative of how you've changed and compare your current self to your past self. Self-reflection helps you understand how far you've come and makes you realize that you truly can be whoever you want to be.

I can't say I'm perfect by any means, but I know I'm in a better place than I was a few years ago. By working hard and persevering, I feel that I am becoming a better version of myself. It's not easy, and you may feel you're putting yourself somewhere out of your comfort zone, but it can help push you in the right direction. Don't give up on yourself, and I'll promise to not give up on myself. I want to have you become your best you as I work to become the best version of myself too.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Olivia Murray