Be who you are, not who others want

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

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College is a wonderful time to explore opportunities and find one’s identity as a person in the vast expanse we call life.

However, it can also be a very stressful and pressure-filled time.

Throughout my early years, I was told repeatedly that I was “going somewhere.”

Because I earned good grades and did well in my classes, people always commented on how well I would do in college and how I could go far because I was good at math and science.

What they did not know was how much I despised both of those areas of study.

Thus, when I began my college career, I decided to pursue a degree in Physics. That was the class I had hated the least, and it had a lot of career opportunities.

I did not know at the time that not only would I utterly loathe my classes for the next year or so, I was woefully unprepared for them.

Growing up in a small rural town, I had no idea going in that the entire year of Calculus I had in high school added up to about one week of Calculus in college.

I cannot count the number of nights I spent crying over my homework because I simply could not understand it.

With the help of tutors, I managed to make it through my first semester with decent grades, but it was only a matter of time before it all became too much.

I moved on to the second Calculus class I had to take, having gotten a decent grade in the first.

I could not do it.

It took months of going to tutors, talking to the professor, and talking to my classmates for me to finally admit that I simply could not do it.

I felt lost, like I was letting everyone down who had ever told me I was “going to do great things.”

If I wasn’t the “smart girl,” then who was I? What was I supposed to do with my life?

I had no idea what to do, so I went to career services. It was because of them that I decided to take my first journalism class.

I loved it.

Taking that class was like crawling through the wardrobe to Narnia for me. Before that moment, I had never realized I could actually enjoy school.

I still worry sometimes that I am disappointing all the people who wanted me to go into a math or science field.

Then I remember that I would rather have a job I love going to and can enjoy. I need to be the best version of myself, rather than try to be the person others want me to be.

Mercury Bowen is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]