It’s okay to be you at BU

By Kennedy Dendy | Broadcast Reporter

“No one is you, and that is your power.”

The moment I heard these words many years ago, I knew that they would have a lasting impact on my life. To this day, these nine words bring me great peace.

For every incoming college student, the anticipation of beginning the college journey comes with feelings that were designed to be both new and exciting. They say college is a time for new beginnings, friendships and memories that will be remembered forever.

As I grew up and approached my freshman year of college, there were common phrases that I would hear used so loosely that soon became simply a cliche. Words such as “don’t follow the crowd” or “don’t fall into peer pressure” were often shared with eager high schoolers from their parents, counselors or other wise advisers in their life.

I know, in particular, that the concept of college being a time to “find who you are” never sat well with me. I definitely understood the gist of what these words meant, however the meaning was definitely opposite of how I had been raised.

For me, I knew who I was before I stepped foot on a college campus, and that mindset plays a large role in who I am today. I live to please an audience of one, and I am grateful to have the assurance that what God thinks of me is far more important than what the world thinks of me.

“Remember who you are and whose you are” were words that spoke deeper to me than simply the “don’t follow the crowd” cliche. In a world where social media allows us to endlessly stare and scroll at people we’re not, it can become easy to conform in an attempt to receive acceptance by those we long to be like. My hope for my campus is that students learn to embrace their uniqueness and find peace with who they are.

I often notice that many individuals find themselves searching and longing for acceptance and are willing to do any and everything it takes to fit the mold that society subconsciously places them in.

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

At Baylor, there are so many ways to get involved. Whether through volunteering around Waco, joining a sorority or fraternity or finding a Bible study, there is a place for you at Baylor.

Ask yourself: Who are you surrounding yourself with? The people in your circle play a larger role than you may think. It’s important to surround yourself with those who are there to support you. I’m talking about the ones that you can be yourself around, rather than those that don’t care about who you are as an individual.

Maybe these words are for the college students who feel out of place in a world that attempts to force them into society’s norms. These words could be for the students who loves their group of friends, but they know that they’re sacrificing who they are for acceptance. Whoever my words speak to, I hope that you learn to find the beauty in individuality. You are one-of-a-kind, so live to be the person that you were created to be without fear or shame from what the world may think of you.

Remember who you are, my friend. There is no one like you.

Kennedy is a junior journalism major from Grapevine.