But time makes you bolder

Kristina Wyman's picture
Caroline Critelli

“You go to school so you can learn.”

This is something that every college student has heard, whether it comes from a family member or it’s something that you tell yourself. It might sound stupid, but it’s definitely true. With plenty of other things to distract you, it’s difficult to remember that the sole purpose of college is to learn stuff.

That being said, English, math, science and all of the things that you could possibly be studying aren’t the only things that you should be learning. Not everyone gets the college experience, and in this journey, the most important thing that you can learn about is yourself.

I’m from Connecticut. All throughout high school, I did not act like myself like a lot of people do. Being you in high school is difficult, and anyone who manages to do so is immeasurably brave. The funny thing is that in high school, I thought that I was being myself. I thought that I didn’t care what other people thought and that the pressure of conformity wasn’t a thing for me.

That mindset began to fade as high school graduation got closer and closer. I was desperate to get out and be somewhere new. In those last weeks, my real personality began to show itself as I realized that I wasn’t going to see any of these people (besides my two close friends) ever again.

In high school, I wore a lot of bright colors, was overly nice and constantly belted Disney songs. Today, only one of those is true (It’s the Disney songs). Although I do like to think that I’m still nice I’m just not as much of a pushover as I used to be.

Everyone has goals that they want to achieve when they start college. Mine was plain and simple:

“In college, I want to be myself.”

And sure enough, my bright clothes and room decorations grew darker and my sarcastic, cynical personality came out in full swing.

Assumption provided an environment where I feel comfortable that I am extremely grateful for and lucky to have. I definitely owe this comfort to the amazing friends I found along the way. I grew up in a place where the best way to deal with your problems was to ignore them until they went away.

Here at Assumption, I’ve met people who let me be as weird as I was always meant to be, laugh as obnoxiously as I could and cry until I couldn’t anymore. I like to think that I do the same for them.

The key thing that college has taught me is what a real friend is and that if there’s anyone who adds negativity to your life, the best thing you can do is let go.

There are things about myself that I wouldn’t have realized if I hadn’t gone away to school or even if I hadn’t come to Assumption. Not everything that I’ve realized is as simple as what types of clothes and movies I prefer. A lot of them are much deeper than that and weren’t that easy to come to terms with.

Hell, I’m still having problems accepting certain things. Concepts like my faith, sexual orientation and life goals have all been rolling around in my mind as I try to balance clubs and school work. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that the thoughts in your mind are just as important as the physical world, but that’s what learning is for.

But what you have in your head is important.

I’m only a sophomore; my college adventure is only halfway over, and I have plenty of things left to learn. I certainly don’t know who I am, but I’m closer than I once was. If you’re not in an environment where you feel comfortable exploring yourself, I urge you to find one. It’s not always that easy or obvious, but it can be found. For me, it was Assumption; for you, it could be your hometown, abroad or right in front of you, just waiting to be realized.

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