Sometimes where we end up or who we become does not reach our expectations. Maybe we dreamed of something more. Perhaps we reached our goals, but we don't feel fulfilled. As I observe everyone around me, I wonder if they are content with their daily routines. Do they secretly long for something incredible and different, or am I the only one who can't be satisfied? And what exactly is it that I crave?
Teenage years are difficult for most people. I have both good and bad memories from my high school years, but I remember the experience as an emotional roller coaster. Growing up includes pain, joy, anxiety and other strong feelings. We develop our identities, beliefs and dreams. We are expected to have an unwavering plan for our future to ensure our success. As soon as we are in high school, we work for our career. As soon as we turn 18, we are treated like adults who should make no mistakes. Most of my friends suffer from a fear of failure due to this sudden pressure. And unfortunately, the feeling of failure never seems to go away. But we become stronger and braver, and we learn to deal with our strong emotions.
College has started for many people, or will start soon. My guidance counselor in high school told me that the best part is starting new. You can be anyone you want without letting your past affect you. Make all different types of friends. Go to an event that you would have never visited, or join a new club. Do what you love without feeling insecure; no one here knows you from ages 5-18 like in your hometown. You are not trapped in a box of identity. Be true to yourself and do whatever interests you. No single label can define a person because we are not one-sided like high school stereotypes. You can like a variety of things and hang out with all kinds of people.
The truth is, people change. Circumstances change. Dreams change. Don't be afraid to let change into your life; it is a part of human nature. Even if you feel stuck, you can start over at any time. Do something you've never done. Go dye your hair, pick up a new hobby or take a train to a new city. Try something terrifying or out of character. Let go of negativity by creating new things in your life and cutting out what makes you unhappy. Your past made you who you are, but it doesn't need to define you.
Letting go of the past will give you the courage to try new things and follow your dreams. Often, it is the only thing that holds people back. We have to live in the present, or else life will fly by without us. Be who you want to become without fear of change.
All I know is that I am one of those people who needs change. I grow from experiences; I seek adventure. And as I leave for college in two weeks, I hope I find everything that I'm searching for.
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