Finishing my fourth quarter of college (and currently in the first week of my fifth) has made me realize I am in the thick of my years as a college student. In college, there is an immense amount of pressure to succeed. First and perhaps most obvious, there is the ever-present pressure to academically succeed. Some say getting into college is the greatest academic battle, but I think graduating is the real war. The future is limitless when you are surrounded by peers fighting their way on a path they’ve destined for themselves decades, years, months, or maybe days ago. Secondly, there is the overbearing social pressure, a confined environment of twenty-somethings experiencing love and loss, extreme highs and lows, and the freedom to win it all or wither away. However, perhaps the greatest of these pressures is the pressure to find yourself, on the verge of child and adult, uncertain in decisions but certain in not wanting advice. You crave to use your voice – even though you may not even know what it sounds like. There is spiritual wandering, questioning, and fear. So where do you go from here? How do you leave this place without succumbing to all these pressures?
To be blunt, I don’t know. Ask any college student what scares them the most, and their answer will most likely be the uncertainty of the future. (Note: Plausible alternate answers include finals week, running out of meal plan swipes, and/or walking on frat row with no shoes.) However, I believe confidence, believing that YOU are capable of manifesting yourself into the person of your dreams, can help tremendously in keeping this fear at bay.
In this fight to find clarity, I have found myself utilizing the strength I have spent years unknowingly garnering in the arms of my family and friends, while also putting my faith into something greater that I cannot see. Life can be hard, lonely, and unpredictably harsh. But I’ve also realized that there is an answer, a greater He, that in addition to our family and friends, aids us in combatting the internal daggers of self-awareness and fear.
In order to survive, the fire within us must burn brighter than the fire that surrounds. Fueling this fire, the light from within, is what I hope to accomplish during my college career.