Getting to know yourself should be a priority

By Julia Pearl | Reporter

While many students come to college to learn about and prepare for their career, they often miss out on learning about themselves and what brings them joy. I’ve heard a number of people say that they “don’t know who they are,” or that they “don’t know what makes them happy.” However, these important questions are often set aside for later consideration or traded for a completed assignment.

It’s important for students to learn who they are and what makes them happy. While this task is more like an evolving research project than a short discussion question, I believe it is worth the investment of time. How are students supposed to pick a career path if they never learn that they enjoy the outdoors, dislike working in groups or rely on receiving feedback?

College is usually the first time young people are given freedom their parents. Because of this, they are able to make so many of their own choices for the first time, yet they also face a number of new pressures.

From kids who were sheltered or controlled to those who practically had to raise themselves, they’re all dumped into the same pool with relatively equal supervision. I think college is where students have the greatest opportunity to learn about themselves.

Although learning who you are is a personal journey, taking some ideas from your friends can be an easy way to get started. Tag along with them to an organization meeting, join them on a walk or ask them how they de-stress. Not only can it teach you a lot about the people you surround yourself with, but it’s a good way to make a short-list of things to try out. It’s easier to try new things when there is a friend there to support you.

You can look up local events either on-campus or in Waco. You can take a trip to the farmers market, a local plant nursery or coffee shop. You can pop into a country dancing club event, talk to a professor you admire or look at The Lariat’s list of What to Do in Waco. These things can give you insight on what you want later in life as well as what you enjoy now.

It’s important to remember that you’re not going to like everything you try. It’s going to force you outside of your comfort zone, but you can learn and grow from the things that make you uncomfortable. It’s more than just determining what you like or dislike. You should also be asking yourself why you enjoyed those things.

Learning about yourself isn’t a project you just complete one day, but it can help you in your everyday life. Knowing yourself is something you should always take time to do because our opinions are rarely static.