Step Forward

College, for the majority of students, is a time of opportunity wasted. After filling out their applications, they arrive to the university, and are literally granted with an incredible amount of opportunities at their fingertips. Any given student, during their time here, can make groundbreaking research, become a rising star in a fortune 500 company, and start an entire new way of life. But….most students don’t do this. And why? Because they get comfortable. They find a friend group, and they stick with it. They join an initial activity, and they don’t branch out. Why? Because it’s safe. Because it’s easy. Because it’s become their official standard identity.

So, for the gift of friends, staying exactly who you are may seem like a small price to pay. BUT…sometimes, if you want to grow, if you want to truly become more of your greatest vision of the grandest version of Who You Truly Are, you need to expand yourself. In a time of deep contemplation, realize who will accelerate you forward and who will set you back.

For a majority of my life, I have been a people-pleaser. Always wanting to tell people what they wanted to hear, giving people what they wanted to have given to them. But, as a result, I was living a warped life, one that was not truly mine, but rather bent and curved by the expectations and standards of those around me. In order to keep what I had, I felt it was necessary for people to only see me in the most ideal light – even if that light was much dimmer than my real spirit.

As a result, I’ve decided to expand myself – even if it means changing from my current identity of who I am, who I spend my time with, and what I spend my time doing. I’m choosing to create a new reality everyday, one that challenges me to understand more about myself and my connection to Being. Though it comes with some change, I’ve accepted my own growth and my own self, and I’m loving every moment of it.

The message in this article may seem shocking and insensitive to some. But, in our innermost understanding, we recognize that all of us travel the path back to Oneness at different paces. Don’t shun your friends for not being as spiritually aware yet, but rather, just accept that their journeys are uniquely different and wonderfully individualized. You are not truly separating from them, but rather, learning how to connect with them on an entirely different level. Let yourself be the guardian of your own growth, and never let anyone or anything limit yourself from it.

So when at college, if you see yourself in this position, remember how much of an opportunity you have to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Depending on the size of campus, you can have 400 to 40,000 individuals who are eager and willing to share their story, their journey, and their experiences with you. You have incredible opportunities present all around you – you can be the difference now.

(Lauren Rourk is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and attends Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. She can be contacted at

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