University can make you feel so small, you almost forget who you are.

Coming in, its very tempting to adopt a new persona, a new way of life. Nobody knows who you were before, and all they care about is who you are now. Looking back, I appear to have started off on the wrong foot, and from there on, just wandered away from what I wanted.

Of course I went through all those “normal” phases: endless partying, 24 hour bookworm-ing, and then a long period of self-imposed solitude. But somewhere in the middle of that last one, I got stuck. By that point, I had completely lost touch with my identities, both past and future. Tough luck, huh.

Unfortunately it was only after an agonizing downwards spiral that I finally realized that I was running away from a world that was never going to disappear. I forced myself to open my eyes and see everything for what it really was: just life. No more deluding myself with half truths, time to start crawling out of the hole I had dug. Realizing that I had friends, a future. I figured I could map my own life, instead of being tossed about by the winds of university.

Now nearing the end of first year, I can safely look back and shake my head at my perpetual flair for the dramatic, and smile at how desperate situations can seem. Instead of wallowing in wistful memories of high school I’m looking forward to the future. Sure, I still have those dark moments, but don’t we all?

Somewhere along this all-too-clichéd journey of self-realization, I was struck by the thought that we seem to be growing old really fast. I mean, in a year or two and we won’t be teens anymore?!

So although I might not have figured myself out yet and have no idea what I’m doing with my life (what can you do with an Aboriginal Studies minor anyway?), it’s okay. We only get to be undergrads once, and I’m planning on making up for lost time during my next three years. Here’s to a fresh start.

What about you?

Photo courtesy of cogdogblog via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).