Go and seek your great perhaps

Emily Riggle, Reporter

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     I find myself looking back on these past four years I’ve spent with hundreds of others, going through the same ritual, that eventually becomes ingrained into us: Wake up, slowly drag ourselves out of bed and stumble to get dressed and out the door.

     The first day of freshman year, I was so excited to start school that I woke up bright and early at 5:30 and carefully planned my outfit for the beginning of this new chapter. Looking back, all I can do is laugh. I struggle to wake up in time to make it to first period, blatantly grabbing a random slightly wrinkled shirt, paired with jeans that may fall a little short, and stumbling to pour coffee into a mug.

     Looking back on freshman year, I had absolutely no idea where I was going or what I was meant to do in life. I sort of took everything that flew at me and ran with it, but of course sometimes when life came hurtling at me, I didn’t always catch what was thrown and I ended up with a smack across the face. Honestly, freshman year, all I remember is being overwhelmed by the endless number of cute upperclassmen and struggling to perfect my locker combination. Freshman year was a time of awkwardness, and sophomore year was no better.

     Not until junior year did I finally get a grasp on how to work a locker and on my life. Junior year I was introduced to Mr. Naujoks. Little did I know this guy was the one who would ultimately lead me down the path I am on now. I’ve always had a love for music, but I understood the risk involving the music industry. Up until junior year I always believed that I would find some general, safe desk job to get by, and honestly that was the opposite of what I had always hoped for. Being told that going into a safe job, just for the fact that it may provide money will eventually make you miserable, was a reality check for myself. I always figured if I could provide for myself and the people I care for, that’s all the happiness I need. 

     But to make others happy, you first have to be happy yourself. You have to discover what you want to do in life and what your true passion is. Suppressing what you love and your passion is not where you will find happiness. You must work for happiness, even if it means working your tail off to find it through something you love. Finding happiness means being selfish sometimes, taking leaps towards what you want every once in a while, instead of constantly pleasing those around you. Naujoks followed his love for photography, and pushed me to follow my love for music.

     This was hardest for me to come to terms with during my college search. I could have easily stayed close to my family and friends, but, instead I’m going nine hours away to follow my dream. Don’t confine yourself to a box of expectations set by others. Set your own barriers and strive to go past them, don’t just meet those expectations. Live for you, and love every moment of it. Let go of the constant need to impress others and be who they want you to be. Let go and dance like an idiot, stumble over your feet and laugh about it.

     I’ve learned to be myself, and Service Learning has helped me make gigantic strides toward self acceptance. I had an epiphany of sorts on our ASP trip in late April. I realized how I was living to please others, and for the first time ever, I realized that I should not feel ashamed of my flaws or try to hide who I really am. We all have our flaws and quirks, but these traits are what define us. Without flaws and quirks, we would all just be walking robots, and where’s the fun in that unoriginality? Let your individuality shine onto the people around you, and let them see the beauty in your quirks.

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2015-05-19 10:11:52

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