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Student Life

Shout Out to the Kids Who Knew What They Wanted Even When They Really Didn't

When should I start college? When should I find my passion in life?

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Shout Out to the Kids Who Knew What They Wanted Even When They Really Didn't

If attending community college as a high school student taught me anything (besides biology and the high price of on-campus snacking), it's that everyone's educational path is unique. Over the years, I've come across students walking all kinds of diverse paths—from that fresh-out-of secondary school, ready to start their college careers, to retirees, eager to re-embrace scholarly life.

I was, and always will be, impressed by the strides and accomplishments of students across the globe but especially so by the students who diverged from the more familiar path.

It's no secret that we frequently find ourselves using comparisons, even knowing full-well how damaging they can be. We love to compare our experiences to the experiences of others, applying our lives to a set of general guidelines.

When should I have my first kiss? When should I get married? When should I have my first child?

Unfortunately, education is hardly spared from this effect.

When should I start college? When should I find my passion in life?

Questions like these, despite how detrimental they can be to one's mental health, tend to alter the way we view ourselves and our lives. Luckily, I'm here to tell you that your path should be just that—your own. Instead of being fixed and inflexible, your education can be personal, tailored to address your weaknesses and emphasize your strengths and interests. Every person has a unique set of goals and talents, so it only makes sense that your education would be unique as well.

Understand that it's okay to need one more semester to earn your degree, or return to school after immersing yourself in a career you realize wasn't quite what you wanted. Take a gap year if you can. In fact, I encourage it.

Be proud of the crazy kids who knew they needed time to discover their passions. Be proud of those who go into freshman year undecided, and the graduating seniors who are brave enough to admit their personal need to take a semester off before college, using that time to explore interests or look after their mental health. Be proud of yourself.

It's always hard to go against the grain, taking the road less traveled, but knowing what you want despite the unpredictability and doubt is a reason to celebrate. Here's to you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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