College is a strange but wonderful time in most young adults’ lives. A time to try new things, meet new people and discover who you really are. The first two are easy, but trying to become the most authentic version of yourself comes with trial and error. Sometimes you’ve got to do things to discover who you’re not. Trust me, we’ve all been there. If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been through at least a few of these stages.
The Time You Were A Wanna-Be Gym Rat
It’s the start of the semester, and you are on your way to becoming the best version of yourself. You have your meals prepped, great new exercise clothes and a workout plan for every day of the week. You are destined to become the person who frequents the gym, eats healthy and is considered a fitness guru by their friends. You start off strong, really earning that gym-rat reputation. But then your time at the gym starts to dwindle. Who really goes every day anyway? After a week of really trying, you realize there’s not much to see and you wonder why you even started this insane routine in the first place. Brownies become more enticing and curling up with Netflix sounds a lot more appealing. Your time as a fitness guru has come to an end.
The Time You Were Seriously Into Partying
Stress has finally gotten the best of you, or maybe you found a friend who’s cool enough to get invited to the good parties. Either way, you’ve probably had a “party animal” stage. It started as an occasional party on the weekend, a good way to forget about your exams and let loose. Then you met some really great friends who wanted you to come out more and more, and soon you found yourself going out every weekend…and then on Thursdays, and then on Mondays. Eventually all those morning hangovers and lost nights of sleep catch up to you, and you’re back to enjoying small kick-backs every other weekend.
The Time You Briefly Became An Herb Specialist
College is a time for experimentation, and sometimes that experimentation becomes a full blown way of life. Perhaps you made some friends really into the herb culture, or you tried some green at a party once and loved it, but you are now the person sleeping ‘til two and whose local smoke shop knows them by name. As a purveyor of herbs and spices you have learned to appreciate the little things, like how delicious Peanut Butter Captain Crunch is or the true meaning behind Adventure Time. You also have a new-found knowledge of how the metric system works, and grams are now of importance (purely for culinary purposes of course.) On the downside, your grades may be slipping, and you are spending an awful lot of time on your couch. That GPA drop has woken you from your hazy existence and you’re back to being an occasional herb enjoy-er.
The Time It Was Life Or Death For Your Grades
You’ve spent the semester just gliding through, doing your assignments when you feel like it and showing up to class only for exams. You figure you’re doing enough to pass, and hey, C’s get degrees. Then dead week rears it’s ugly head and you check Blackboard. You’re in serious trouble. You’ve always scoffed at the people pulling all-nighters in the library and studying on park benches, but you are now one of them. You are the person who hasn’t washed their hair in days, flipping frantically through your textbooks in the library, hoping sheer willpower is enough to learn all that information. You’re guzzling coffee like a maniac and wondering if staying up for 36 hours straight is enough to cause permanent damage. Finals week hits and there’s nothing you can do now but hope for the best and start all over next semester.
The Time You Were A Vinyl-Loving, Flannel-Wearing Hipster
If there is any time in your life to be a pretentious jerk who pretends to like art that no one understands, it’s college. You live in a world where travel bloggers are #goals, and taking pictures of your latte is basically required, so it’s easy to make the transition from person-who-enjoys-coffee to person-who-obnoxiously-knows-everything-about-coffee. Before you know it, you’re wearing $80 flannels from Urban Outfitters and you own a record player. There are bound to be like-minded people around you who encourage this behavior and help you complete your hipster transformation. Suddenly you have a vintage road bike and go to underground shows. Your old friends are just too basic for you now and you can no longer be caught jamming to the Biebs. Fortunately being this cynical is taxing on a person, and you realize that you can like leggings and Frappuccinos and still maintain your dignity. Well, maybe not.
Maybe after trying on some different stereotypes and hanging with different friend groups you truly found your place, or maybe you didn’t and you still don’t know who you are or where you belong. Either way that’s okay. Whether your crowd goes out literally every weekend and you love being a party animal or you have seriously no idea where you fit in, you are great and your college extracurriculars don’t define you as a person.
Photo by: Zuri Bradley