Creating a Healthy Identity (mainly in college)
As I sat in the cafeteria of my college campus with my Fiance, I looked around and saw the groups of people sitting at tables. They were laughing, smiling, and seemed to be enjoying time with friends. Many would talk with their hands and had eccentric expressions that told their stories to me without even hearing them. But along with that I saw forced smiles, forced laughs, and shoulders that slouched a little lower than the average I’m-a-stressed-college-student posture. And I wondered, “Are they really even happy?”
But everyone is having a great time, right? If we just continue to pretend then they’ll never know. Or maybe they’ll think I’m weird. Maybe I’ll lose my friends. Or maybe I’ll have to rely on myself to create my identity and not those “friends” around me.
That last one is more like it.
I know this is all a little blunt, and I swear I’m not acting passive aggressively. This is only a need that that I feel should be discussed. But who am I to bring up such things? Well, let me give you a little bit of background.
Little Taylor grew up with a big supportive family, a lot of land, and had a fairly happy childhood. She went to public school like any other kid. She loved to play, was creative, and was pretty intelligent as well. What’s the big deal then, you ask? She was never good at friendships. Or maybe she was, but they never seemed to work out (Hint: little Taylor is me).
In Elementary I had my “group” that I would hang out with. I never really decided to become part of the group, but I did. They were those kids that always sat in the same general area as me on the bus or that I traded school supplies with. I felt accepted by them when I would sit with them and sing Taylor Swift songs without a care in the world. But I would also feel rejected when they suddenly told me they didn’t want me to sit with them that day. Don’t get me wrong; I was a tough kid but I cared.
And it hurt.
I didn’t really understand why this would happen. This continued all throughout Elementary and partly into Middle school before I decided to start online schooling. There were many reasons why I decided to turn to homeschooling, but a small reason in the back of my mind was friendships.
Many thought I became sheltered when I switched learning environments, but in reality, I became more independent, I was happier, got out more often, and I found myself.
I found myself.
I was never forced into my decision, and looking back, those years are the years that I am most thankful for. Sure, I had a bad sense of style, crooked teeth, and only one best friend besides my siblings, but I was able to find a true identity. I also gained a ton of hobbies and skills that prepared me for adulthood and I grew in my relationship with God.
So, moral of the story: where does your identity lie? Is it in your friends, your significant other…etc.? Are you going through the motions just to fit in? And more importantly, are you happy? If some of these questions are a negative to you then maybe you should take some time for yourself and reflect on who you are.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am in NO WAY saying that friends are bad. I’m also not just talking about friends. This subject relates to identity in general. Your identity can be placed in anything.
I’ll end this by saying that you are a fantastic person that was made to be unique and completely original. God created you to be this way. Find your identity in Him and don’t waste your time trying to be a replica of another human being. BE YOU!