It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I realized that I had not focused on me, my identity, who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I was focused on other things to even realize what I missing. My own identity.

Before college, I had been dating a boy for three years. Not only did I think that we were the perfect pair, but so did he and my friends. I was with him from sophomore to senior year of high school, so I did not grow up independently. He was always there for me when I had drama or tough times with family and friends. I relied on him for comfort instead of working my issues out alone.

We never had thoughts of breaking up before college until he received a scholarship to play baseball. When he committed, we both knew how much time and hard work goes into collegiate sports. He was going in one direction and I was going in another. We knew how busy we were both going to be and decided that "if things are meant to be they will be meant to be."

It was not until I moved to college when I realized what all I had to learn since I had been with a partner for so long. First off, I had to get back in the game of dating! And most importantly, I learned and understood why I felt so empty all these years. I had never found out who I was. My identity was shared with another person instead of just me.

I decided that freshman year was the year of finding myself. Trust me, it was not easy. I had to go through the good and the bad by myself. I even recognized all my flaws, hidden talents, and quirky traits. I even made friends without having any attached person with me. When you met me, it was just me and it had never been like that in the past.

I am writing this article in hopes that someone will read this and reflect on what is holding them back from being their true selves or finding their own identity. Mine happened to be a relationship, maybe it's a toxic relationship, a friend, or social media. Look at things that you are too focused on and focus on yourself. Learn about your weird quirks, write your feelings on paper, dress the way you want, and be the most authentic version of yourself. Here's to finding YOU.