College is a tough time for most students, especially freshmen. In fact, this is likely why there's an online journal for college students like me to be a part of. The Odyssey Online exists on the basis that college students have a unique perspective and craving to write about anything from politics to their feelings. At least for me, I know that's why I joined.
Why do college students have so much to say though? I wouldn't jump to say that we're an over-expressive generation, despite having grown up with nearly every resource to share the explicit details of our lives (thanks, Instagram and Twitter). Instead, college students are so vocal about their passions and thoughts because they're just now coming into their own.
Sure, everyone grows a lot in high school. The undeniable "glow-up" that everyone experiences in turning in their braces for a prom dress is welcomed by many, but I can't help but believe that one's' heaviest intellectual and spiritual growth happens during their college years.
In my own experience, I left my small and sheltered life in Maine and tested the limits by going to school in North Carolina. Sure, I'm still in a small town that is referred to by students and faculty as the "Elon bubble", but I started out in this bubble on my own.
With all of the freedom in the world, my first semester in college was focused on starting my new life. Let me tell you-- I did it all wrong. Mistakes happen, but I somehow convinced myself that my mistakes were just who I really was. Getting mixed up with the wrong people and the wrong priorities was much easier than expected, and before I knew it I was no longer the person I was when I left Maine. Sure, it's good to grow, but I was not turning into someone I was proud of.
It's been a month since my quarter-life crisis and I'm already feeling better. What I didn't realize in having a mini identity crisis at 18 was that sometimes it's just as easy to fix yourself as it is to break yourself. I enrolled in classes I was passionate about, took the time to dress like myself, started doing things (other than sleeping) in my free time, and eating like I loved myself. Which is a lot. I love food.
It's safe to say that my quarter-life crisis happened my first semester of my freshman year. Maybe I'll have more, maybe I won't. In hindsight, however, I'm glad that my independence at school has allowed me to take control of my own life where I have full control over my own future. So many students find themselves lost in the freedom that they have in school, but the possibilities are endless once you start using it to your advantage.