Discover (or remember) who you are in college

Starting college is one of the most life-changing experiences one can go through. It’s kind of like being thrown into an ocean of sharks, but the ocean is not that deep and the sharks are pretty friendly. It’s a new world to learn and live in.

We all have dreams of being the best version of ourselves. Coming to college is a great way to actualize those dreams. If you come from a small town, a city out of state or even if you’re local to Miami, being on our campus can feel like a whole new start.

At college, you have to the opportunity to curate your own experience and be a different person. Whether willingly or not, being on your own will show you parts of yourself you’ve never seen before.

For some of us, it’s our first real taste of being an adult, and it’s not easy. Organizing your own schedule and sticking to it isn’t as easy as it seems. Sometimes we don’t it get it right. Sometimes we pick up bad habits.

During parents weekend and other nostalgic times (like heading home for break), we are met with the ghosts of our former selves. Seeing our parents and old friends from high school can remind us of a time when things were much different, and if you’ve changed a lot, it can be a bittersweet time.

It can become a balancing act, especially if these versions of yourself are quite different.

Some of us have changed for the better and that’s one of the greatest things about being in college. Maybe you’ve tried out a new club that you thought you would never be interested in or maybe you did great in a class that you would totally fail otherwise. We can change in good ways.

But there are also some of us that are going through a lot, and college only seems to make it worse. Trying to balance academics while we’re going through something emotionally, mentally or socially is quite draining.

We’re forced to grow up quickly and deal with this, and sometimes there’s a tendency to find negative ways to cope.

Whether it’s derived from something positive or negative, it can sting when someone says “you’ve changed.” We want to remain the same in the eyes of the people we know and love, but you can use this type of interaction as a catalyst for reflection. Maybe you did change, but it’s up to you to figure out whether it’s a good or bad thing.

Deciding what it means for you and how to move forward is the best thing we can do. We all change, and you shouldn’t be ashamed to express your new identity. Coming in contact with figures from our past can also bring back some clarity in our life if we’ve chosen a wrong path.

Luckily, it’s easy to rebrand and reinvent yourself in college. Seeing where you were last year, or even a couple of months ago, can motivate you to keep pushing forward to be the best you possible.

There is something about being in college, especially in Miami, that invites change. It’s a city bursting with many personalities, vices and experiences. Change is ultimately inevitable.

It’s a little weird when we’re faced with our high school selves, but it can be refreshing to marvel at all the growth you’ve made since then. Some of us never partied much before, but now we do. Maybe you took some cool classes and adopted a different view on social and political issues.

Maybe you’ve made some friends that you thought were great and realized that they weren’t the best people to hang with. No matter how what it is, it’s all part of our individual journey into becoming mature adults.

Changing is crucial in this process and there’s no better place to do it than in college. We get to mess up, try again and do it right. We get to really figure out who we are.

So whether the upcoming fall break or seeing your parents this weekend brings back negative or positive memories of yourself, we can use those feelings to improve on ourselves. After all, it’s the adult thing to do.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.