Column: Growing up and trying to figure it all out


Haley Renschler

College forces us to grow up whether we are ready or not. Each decision we make will affect us tomorrow, and we have to be ready to take on the world as an adult by the age of 22, or at least that’s what we’re told.

I am 20, and I have no idea where I will be five or 10 years from now, but I know that time is going by fast. I have an idea of where I would like to be, but no one can know for certain where their life path will take them.

When I think about the past five years of my life, I have gone through several phases of my life. I have gone from innocent to reckless and from insecure to confident. I have suffered the death of loved ones. I have had great success. I have had my heart broken, and I have overcome life challenges.

All of my past experiences have helped shape me into the person I am today. I have motivation to be successful because I have seen others fail, and I have learned to be caring and compassionate because I have seen the cruelty of others.

What we are not told during our time in college, is that we do have time to figure everything out, and it’s okay to not know right now. When I think back to five years ago, my life has changed so much, and my plan for where I would end up was completely different.

Also, each decision we make will affect us the next day, but that doesn’t mean they will define us. Sometimes we suffer regret or guilt from decisions we make. This is proof that life can take unexpected turns that we won’t always be prepared for.

Throughout college, we are faced with more challenges to overcome, and we don’t always know which decision we should make. We all make mistakes because that’s the only way we will truly learn about ourselves, but the difference is how we let our mistakes define and shape us.

I use my mistakes in life to help remind myself of the person I do not want to be. By coming to college, we leave the only life we’ve ever known, and we’re expected to figure it out. We suffer regret from actions, and we constantly wonder if we will be successful.

It’s very easy to get distracted in college and to lose sight of what’s important – whether we are stressing over tests or finding our place. We must act like the person we want to be, in order to become the person we want to be. We must focus on bettering ourselves and recognize our self-worth. Sometimes, we know the person we want to be, but we get lost along the way.

I constantly tell myself to do good, to be a good sister, to be a good friend, to be a good daughter, and to be a good woman. I think this is something we can all use to be the best person we can be. We all pay way too much attention to what others have to say about us. We will never be happy in life if we let the opinion of others define us.

Sometimes it’s hard to feel successful because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. But we are all different. I look at my older brother, and he always seems to have everything figured out when I never do.

I try to look like I have my life together, but really I just take each step of life day by day and hope to figure it out. I’m constantly trying to find myself. At this age, so much is expected of us when really, we still are so young. I have been in such a rush to grow up, but now I ask myself, “Why did you wish away the simplicity of being young?”

One day, I will have a family. I will love and be loved by an incredible man who shares the same morals as I do. I will have a successful job that I’ve always wanted, even though I have no idea what job that is right now.

Before we reach our own personal goals, we will make plenty more mistakes, and we will get knocked down over and over again. But I will get back up and try again, and you all must do the same.

We will prosper, and it’s important that we make the most of life while loving every aspect of it. Remember that time heals all wounds, just have patience. I will have success, just like all of you will. It will lead us to where we want to be, but it won’t always be easy.

Right now, we’re at this point of life where we still feeling like young teenagers, but we are so close to being an adult. We are about to be faced with reality, and our future seems to be all we can think about.

It’s okay. It’s okay that you don’t know where you’ll be tomorrow. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay if you’re still trying to figure it out.

You will triumph, you will be successful, and you will overcome life challenges if you choose to do so. Life is about choices. Choose to be brave, choose to be happy, and chose to be the best you can be. Life is incredible if you choose to make the most of it.


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