Discover your passions by yourself
August 25, 2019
College isn’t about staying in your comfort zone. To fully enjoy your first breaths of freedom, college is going to be awkward and full of new experiences. One way to explore your likes and dislikes, find your passions and start your self-discovery journey is by going to Quad Day.
When I was a freshman, I would not dare to go anywhere alone. I would find someone to walk to class with, have lunch with and study with. Having a tight-knit friend group has its perks for sure, but being with someone all the time can also influence the way you make your decisions. For example, if you really want to join the fishing club and your roommate hates fishing, this can bring up some awkward tension between the two of you.
I went to Quad Day with my roommate freshman year, and even though we got along extremely well — we’re even friends today — exploring what you truly want to do is not the same when you’re with a friend. You make sacrifices for the booths and clubs they want to go to or you might feel ashamed about the ones you want to sign up for.
Later on in the year, I ventured out a little more and joined clubs where I knew absolutely no one. This gave me the confidence to go to events, parties and meetings by myself. I learned how to make friends with strangers and find my community on a campus with over 50,000 students. This is a hard skill to learn, but I am so grateful I’m comfortable with meeting new people now (after all, isn’t that what college is supposed to be about?).
To the freshmen who think being seen alone in college means you’re uncool or a loner: You’re wrong! College is not like high school, and everyone is so preoccupied with their own thoughts and worries to be wondering why you’re walking around by yourself. Trust me, I was a self-conscious freshman, too, and now a much wiser junior — not — I know no one cares what you look like because we’re all going through the same awkward transition into a new, beautiful phase in life.
Spending time alone is truly the only way you can discover yourself and what you’re passionate about, so I encourage everyone to go to Quad Day alone. If that’s too big of a jump, go with friends, but take a lap around the Main Quad by yourself and sign up for those clubs, intramurals and organizations you truly want to without the stress of your peers standing by your side.