Questioning Who You Are

Questioning Who You Are

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As a first-year college student, I find myself questioning who I am. I am a big fan of Facebook, so I am constantly online and I frequently seeing posts of my friends who clearly have their life together. Then I start to question: What am I doing with my life? A lot of my friends are in their late teens or early 20s (like myself), and they have already had great budding careers, the capability to buy their own cars, marriages, and even families. Even though I know that I shouldn't, I compare these posts and their lives to my own and I wonder what great accomplishments I have done thus far. At the end of my train of thought, I wind up asking myself: who are you?

Who am I? It seems like such a dumb question because everyone knows who they are, right? I know that I see social media posts from people asking this question in a mocking manner, but now that I ask myself this question, it's pretty serious. Who I define or describe myself as is my self-image. It's how I believe other people view me, and it is a stepping stone to who I want to be -- my ideal self-concept (in marketing terms). Who do I want to be? Since I was a young girl, two things have remained constant: a mother and a wife. In elementary school, I wanted to be a teacher; in middle school, I had no idea; in high school, I changed from English professor to nurse to English professor to a certified public accountant. So now my ideal self-concept, that I hope to eventually reach, is a mother, a wife, a CPA (hopefully a successful one), and a small change in the world. I want to make a difference; I haven't figured out how I'm going to do that, what I'm going to do, when, or where, but I'm determined to do it. I just need to figure out who I am right now.

I've only been in college for seven months, but I can tell a small difference in who I am as a person. Part of that is I don't really know who I am. I know who I would like to be, but I can't get there until I know my starting point: Who am I today? If someone were to ask me who I was, what would I say? I'm a college freshman; I study accounting and fraud investigation. I'm a military child, an only daughter, with two younger brothers. I am North Carolinian -- I claim Wilmington as my home. But that isn't really who I am ... that's how I identify myself. I just don't know who am I. I know what I stand for, and what I want in life, but does any of that really matter if I don't know who I am?

I've asked my friends if they have ever felt like they don't know who they are, and they say yes. They asked if I have felt that way and they felt bad for me when I said yes. But why is this such a bad thing? Was it a bad feeling for them too? Is it normal? (This is a whole other question because what is normal? Just a comparison to everyone else, which is part of the problem of me questioning my identity.) Does anyone really know who they are?

Sometimes I wonder if anyone knows who they are. Is this a lifelong question people ask themselves? Is life a journey to figure out who you are? I like to think so. But when do you really figure it out? When you've graduated school or earned a job? When you've created a family? When you're retired? What helps define who you are? Is it the relationships you make, your experiences? What is it? As someone who is impatient for life, I want the answers to all of these questions. I want to know who I am. Not knowing who I am makes me feel lost, but I suspect I'm not lost; I just haven't found who I am.

I have to believe that I'm not the only one who feels like this, so to those of you who feel lost, let the silver lining be that you have not found who you are yet. That may seem like a contradictory statement, but it means that you still get to make you who you want to be. You still have time to make yourself who you want to be. You have time to make yourself be the best you that you could possibly be. To all those who are also lost, from one lost soul to another, take your time finding yourself, because there is only one you and only one life to be this you. Do the things you want to do, have all the experiences you want to have. When someone tells you to just be yourself, be the you that you want to be, because you haven't quite figure yourself out, so you can be any you that you want.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Brunton- Personal Brand Management

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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