It took me a while, but by my junior year of high school, I knew who I was. I had found my flock and settled into a nice groove filled with activities that I was passionate about; they gave me a purpose in life.
Just when it felt like I had everything together, the facade of stability was over—I was off to college.
They say that college is when you find out who you truly are, and I was excited about that. I realized that what had been making me tick in high school were all temporary things, so I was ready to explore different sides of myself.
I was excited to discover different passions, new things to make me tick. I was excited to discover who I truly am.
But as I near the end of my first year of college, I am more lost than I ever was.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the college experience. My friends are amazing, and, overall, college outweighs high school in so many ways. There are aspects, however, mostly regarding myself, that I simply did not expect.
I expected finding my place to come easy, as I thought the firm grasp I had on who I was in high school would transfer smoothly. I was sorely mistaken. I have tried one thing after another—whether it be in courses ranging from various subjects to groups that I thought would fill me with purpose. Nothing has clicked. As I move into my second year of college, I will be starting with a clean slate. New classes to uncover, and new groups and activities to explore.
And while exploration is fun, it is downright frustrating.
I long to feel like I have direction in life. I ache for the feeling that what I do matters. I am searching for things that will light my fiery passion again, so I can know who I am.
But I am misguided by the need to be stable. Anxiety pushes me to find myself immediately, but isn't that what college is supposed to be all about—finding myself? I should not expect to get it all down in one year. I need to give myself time to grow and evolve, but for some reason, I am freaked the hell out by the not knowing.
I am glad that I was ripped from the comfort of my home town and high school—Lord knows I needed that. Every time I get overwhelmed by my lack of purpose, I have to remind myself one thing...
My purpose right now is simply to find my purpose.
It is okay for me to take classes that eventually lose my interest. It is okay for me to be a part of groups and activities that fail to feel like home for me. Every stone I turn over that comes up empty only leads me closer to my goal—whatever that may be.
I fear the unknown, and that is unfair of me. I need to learn to appreciate the unknown, because someday I will be settled into a job with a loving family, and I will regret if I did not explore all possibilities.
So I am learning to grant myself permission to feel lost because it is all a part of the journey. Someday I will get where I am going, and I will appreciate every step along the way that pointed me in the right direction, even if it did not seem particularly fruitful at the moment.
I am uneasily embracing the unknown.