A lot of times in life we can encounter a person who makes us better. There may have been someone who reminded us to stay motivated, or someone who encouraged us to never change, or a person who just helped to lift you up when you were down. These moments can be so special that something we learned from it or something they said always sticks with us. By keeping these little things with
us, they can help shape who we are. Several years ago, someone told me, “Do what is right, even when you stand alone.” This saying has always resonated with me, and it’s something that has in some ways become a part of my character.
College is certainly filled with its challenges. From academics, social situations, and new experiences, it can be easy to get caught up in it all and lose track of who you are. There is something about this time in life and the transition that comes with it that can cause people to stray from their normal path. While sometimes this can be a good thing, the core of a person should not be lost because they have placed themselves in a new environment. Some people can be very self aware and realize the ways in which they are changing and evaluate if those changes are promoting or inhibiting their growth. However, some people can start to lose track of what makes them who they are among the chaos that often comes with college life.
When I think about what it means to do what is “right”, the meaning of this varies from person to person. What is right for one person isn’t always going to be right for someone else. Each person is different and with that comes a variation of what works for them. What is “right” for a person can be rooted in a spiritual belief, or a moral value, or just a personal stance they have developed through the experiences of their life. These things that are “right” can even change throughout a person’s life. The key to finding this compass of character is to self evaluate. By understanding what you need in your life to succeed, thrive, and be happy, only then can you determine your beliefs and values so that you can live your best life.
So many people in the world are afraid to stand to alone, in every aspect of what that means; whether that is to be physically alone or be isolated from others based on a certain belief. When you first leave for college, it’s a concept many people come to terms with. Incoming freshmen ask themselves, “Will I have friends? Will people like me?” It makes sense to worry about these things, but the value of being alone and taking time for yourself is often underrated. Being alone can give a person peace just to be with themselves and not worry about anything else. In another sense, to stand alone can be to stand up against the crowd. While everyone else may see something a certain way, when you don’t, it’s important that you hold true to your values. If everyone made the exact same choices and had the very same beliefs, wouldn’t the world be incredibly boring? It takes great courage to set yourself apart, even when others may not agree with you. However, doing this can sometimes be the greatest test of a person’s character.