School Daze: On Being Yourself, Minding Your Business, & Self-Awareness

I debated on whether or not to post this. I debated on whether or not to even write this. But after seeing certain situations time and time again, over the course of a very short month, I finally decided that it was necessary. I had to release my frustrations in some way, shape or form.

With that being said, I’ll begin by saying that I’m new to the “college scene” but this BS here is definitely not not new to me. The drinking, excessive partying and casual sex is something I’ve been exposed to for quite some time. It’s not my thing. I never really had too many friends growing up because I saw that people were willing to shape shift, if they felt like it’d make them fit better in a new location. Thinking back, it’s safe to say that I’ve never dealt well with conformity whether it was my “friends” that were conforming or if I was the one being pressured to conform. It’s not in me or for me, to fit in. It took me a while to figure it out but once I did, it was so much easier to understand myself and the others that I encountered.

Being in this college setting, it’s clear that so many of the people here have been vying not only for freedom, but for acceptance and more importantly, an understanding of themselves. I understand that this is new and more likely than not, many of us are scared. That’s expected. Of course everyone wants to immediately make at least one friend. I just don’t think the way to guarantee that you’ll make friends is to convienietly change your personality, habits or interests depending on the group of people you’re around. That will quickly become noticeable and you’ll be blackballed and called out as a fraud

The first question many (upperclassmen) have asked me is, “Do you drink?”. My answer is always, “No” and for some reason, they believe that it’s appropriate and/or necessary to say, “That won’t last long.”: A comment usually followed by laughter. Instead of a simple “Ok” or maybe even asking “Why?”, they view my answer as a joke or some distorted form of naivety and laugh as if they can picture me taking my very first shot. But, I’m happy to say that I am good. Mo is a-okay.

Early in life, I witnessed the traumatic effects of lethal combinations of alcohol use + over indulgence and I simply choose not to drink.The temptation is there, but so is the voice of God telling me to keep it moving. Peer pressure at this age, targeted towards me, makes the one pressuring me look like a damn fool. I could care less. But, the key to it all is that I also don’t look down on those who drink or even question them on their choices. I believe in minding my own business. It’s not my body or my life being affected by their choices. I can’t stress the importance of tending to your own affairs. I don’t even ask people questions such as “Where are you going?” because that is NOT my business (this is not to be confused with checking in on friends and other safety related circumstances).

With me being so firm in my decisions, it’s extremely tough for me to be around people who waver- especially when the underlying factor is a need for unnecessary belonging and the wavering is on someone else’s terms. People will often times do things when they believe that it will make them more likable or better yet, more appealing. I’ve seen people switch personalities in a matter of seconds. It’s weird and has often been unsettling. I’m often laid back, simply observing and seeing people squirm under pressure will ALWAYS get under my skin.

I believe whole-heartedly in the idea that if you want to do something, do it. Be smart and think about it because at the end of the day, you don’t deal with anyone’s consequences except your own. If you feel the need to ask people what they think or how they feel about something you’re doing, why are you even doing it? You should be set in your decision(s). Now, I’m not naive enough to completely dismiss the plausible notion of doubt, but I do think that your decision to do something that will only impact you, shouldn’t be made with the well-being or happiness of someone else in mind.

I have to step back and check myself sometimes because “revelations” like those above may be sentiments that come with a certain level of self-awareness. I grew up old, and by that I mean that I spent so much time with my grandma and her friends that my thoughts, words, actions and feelings today, echo the multitude of things I heard her say and saw her do. It’s imperative for me to realize that not everyone was raised by my grandmother.

College is the time where many people will start to find themselves and search for complete self-awareness. I’m still on the journey of finding myself, but in a very different way. For others, many others in fact, it may not happen until many years after college. And for a select few, self-awareness and real deal reality checks came a long time ago which may mean that certain things just aren’t going to happen.


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