What if we’re our own best teachers, mentors, guides, and gurus? Note that this isn’t saying we don’t need other people and outside resources — we all do! Outside ideas can offer new perspectives and ideas (especially helpful if we find ourselves in a rut). However, when not taking the time to look within for answers nor valuing our own perspectives and experience, outside resources will have much less of a useful impact.
Check out a teen’s perspective on listening within, trying new things, and finding value in newfound freedoms.
Learning through the Freedom of College
College so far has been all about freedom for me. I never felt particularly trapped back home, but there’s something different about having to completely care for yourself. You are making your own decisions all the time and it can feel pretty good. I’m finding that in this sort of environment, however, you need to have a solid foundation of what you prioritize and care about to avoid being swayed into things you will regret.
That being said, I’ve never felt such consistent happiness and I would say freedom is to blame. Something feels so good about choosing for yourself without worrying about others judging you. It gives you an opportunity to try things you might have thought about before but never acted on. For example, I’ve always wanted to get more involved in helping others but never truly focused on that goal before now. So recently I’ve been looking at applications for programs, checking out clubs, and finding events I could possibly attend.
In some ways, I feel like high school was a shackle for me. I was never obsessive over my grades and stats during high school — I knew I wasn’t Ivy League material and was okay with that — but I still wanted to do my best for myself. Focusing on academics so much didn’t leave much time to get involved in the things I really wanted to do. I still care about my academics in college, of course, but college for me is more about real life in the sense that you have to find what you care about, want to be involved in, and will likely pursue throughout your life. For me, I’m finding that this environment promotes more of a sense of freedom if you allow it to.