The Myth of Finding Yourself
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Myth of Finding Yourself

Can we ever truly know who we are?

251
The Myth of Finding Yourself
https://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2017/10/09/636431168990304904336509850_2006-10-18Dahlia03m.jpg

“College is the time to find yourself.” It’s a phrase we have all heard time and time again, whether it be from movies or from the people around us. We are told all through high school that college was a magical time in our lives in which we would find out who we really were. And yet as my time as a college student draws to a close, I am no closer to knowing who I am than I was four years ago. What does finding yourself even mean? How do we know who we truly are?

We live in a society dependent on labels. Whenever we encounter a new person, we immediately give them a list of stereotypes in order to classify them. Often we think of these in binaries, assigning this stranger one extreme or another. Are they nerdy or sporty? Artsy or logical? Sexy or smart? Shy or outgoing? We use these labels to evaluate how we should steer the conversation. I recently participated in an experiment in class where we went up to strangers and recorded the questions we asked ourselves during our first interaction. It was shocking to find out how many labels I assigned to each new person, without any validity following them. Over and over again I asked myself what version of myself I could present in order for them to like me. I made assumptions about who they were and then shifted myself to fit what I assumed they liked. And at the end of the experiment, it was found that almost everyone else did the same thing. We are dependent on these labels for others to build relationships, but how can we build relationships with people we boil down to one or two stereotypes? And how can we fit a human’s essence into a few phrases or descriptors?

I think the idea that you can “find yourself”, or define your essence into a neat description, is impossible. We are all creatures who shift throughout the years, throughout the contexts of life, and throughout our experiences. No one is so steadfast in the way they act and believe that their worldview cannot be altered. We are all such complex beings, no one is just what they appear to be on the surface. And in order to create meaningful connections, we must be willing to take the time to ask people questions about themselves, because that is the closest thing to knowing someone’s “true self” that we can get to.

I think these questions are also the closest we can get to finding ourselves. Who we are is not what we are wearing or what we look like. It has nothing to do with our major or our plans after school. Who we are is what we are passionate about, what we believe in. And these four years, I have come closer to finding that out. It may be completely different in another for years, and that is okay. We deserve more than being put into a neat little box of faux descriptors. Instead, we should accept the freedom to alter ourselves, and know that who we are is whoever we choose to be.

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

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

193033

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

For me, chai isn't just what I drink — it's a core part of who I am. Sure, I'll switch it up every now and then with a cup of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, rose, or Darjeeling, but I always come back to chai.

Nearly every tea lover has one tea they repeatedly drink and go back to, whether it's a daily morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my good friends has almost eight cups of jasmine tea every single day — she drinks more tea than water, actually.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

69327

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you were formerly an Odyssey creator, like Tatyannah King or Julia Waterbury, we want to hear from YOU about how your creator journey helped you get to where you are today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

211450

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Going To College During COVID-19 Has Caused Some INTENSE Burnout, And It's Not Just Me

Graduation doesn't even feel like the light at the end of the tunnel anymore.

1785

When my college announced that we would be having the fall 2020 semester on-campus, I was pretty excited. After six months of living at home with my parents with nothing to do, my study abroad trip in May canceled, and my 21st birthday plans down the drain, going back to campus meant that I would regain some of my individuality and see my friends again. But since we've returned, it has not been as fun as I had hoped my senior year of college would be.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

126998

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

I went through a breakup in the middle of November 2018 and decided I'd get on Tinder and see what happens. I honestly didn't know what I wanted from it and I never thought people could actually find their forever person on it until I did. I actually ended up marrying him a couple of months after we had matched, and now we are about to hit 2 years of marriage! Here are some tips on finding love on Tinder, if you're ready for commitment...

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

6 Simple Activities That May Actually Help You Sleep Better At Night

Because being well-rested is crucial to your overall health.

551

I often can't sleep at night due to a slurry of medical issues, both mental and physical. Often times I fall asleep between three and five in the morning. I know there are many others just like me, so I did some research to benefit us all. Here are 6 things to do when you can't sleep.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter what job you wish to pursue or where you'll end up in your career, writing will always be an invaluable skill.

Just ask Julia Waterbury, a former Odyssey creator and college graduate with a business degree, for whom this couldn't be more true! Though she began by using Odyssey as a creative outlet, she quickly learned it was so much more and soon was able to include her articles and skills (from writing and editing to SEO and social media marketing) to up her resume game.

Keep Reading... Show less

I haven't had sex since I lost my virginity at the end of my sophomore year of high school and now I'm a freshman in college, so I'd like to say I know a thing or two about not having sex. Here are four lessons I've learned over the last two years of abstinence.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments