I have always been an old-fashioned note-taker. I love the feel of new, clean notebooks and ink pens. I have my own note-taking system and it works. Freshman spring, I literally took tens of pages of notes by hand, all … Continue reading
Seeing all the freshmen move in these last few days has caused me to reflect back on my own freshman year of college. It’s a confusing but exciting time, and I remember how much pressure there was to fit in … Continue reading
This last week or so has been crazily busy. Wow. Thursday night, I was lucky enough to visit with the un-nephew and niece. These babies like me so far, and I’m hoping once they’re old enough to have some sense … Continue reading
It’s that time again. Tomorrow, after I do this awful statistics exam (which is more like an essay test because my professor doesn’t really do numbers but that’s another story), I head home. I’m so excited, I can’t even tell you! Heading home is the best feeling in the world. I love Philly and all of the benefits of living in the city but at the end of the day I always miss the open spaces of Wyoming.
I remember the first time I came home freshman year. It was a strange feeling, like being a puzzle piece that no longer fits quite right. I loved being home, but I could tell that things were different. I was different. I’d had new experiences and done all sorts of things and coming home was still like being wrapped in a big hug, I noticed that home “me” and school “me” weren’t exactly the same thing anymore.
This sense of some sort of internal split became greater throughout freshman year, as I began to see myself change and grow in exciting ways. I developed new interests, met new people, and learned how to sleep in on Sunday mornings like a normal teenager instead of getting up weirdly early.
People always romanticize “finding yourself,” as if it’s this thing you choose to do when you go on a solo backpacking trip across Europe and come back a whole different person who is wise and worldly. I was suddenly in the middle of it, sans the backpacking. I didn’t feel the romance, just a lot of confusion. Being in college meant making most decisions myself. How was I supposed to do that?
Going home freshman summer was even more confusing. I felt like I didn’t match the “me” of home but I didn’t feel like I’d quite assimilated to Penn yet. I felt like I was hanging in the balance between two different Taylors who hadn’t yet been introduced to one another.
Now that I’m at the end of sophomore year, I think I’m finally starting to see it all come together. Have I found myself yet? No way. It’s still one big game of hide and go seek, but I’ve got some clues. I feel like these last two years have been full of growth, and I’ve began to reconcile the two halves of myself that I believed existed.
My new favorite word has become “authenticity.” Whenever I feel like I’m being pulled in one direction or another, I try to step back and consider if it seems “authentic.” Does it seem like something I want to do? Is it in line with other decisions I’ve made? It’s not a perfect system, but it gives me some way of deciding on who Taylor is until I figure it out (spoiler alert: she probably really likes food, or at least she better).
As I head home for sophomore summer, I’m excited to head home more Taylor than ever. The “real me” is probably not hiding under a ginormous stack of pancakes that Dad will inevitably make me for breakfast, but I’ll look anyways.
Here are some of my favorite quotes about authenticity:
When is a time in your life where you felt like you were two different people? Did you find yourself? How did you do it?
Hey! I’m Val and I’ll be guest posting for Taylor today. I write over at In-Between Life, a lifestyle blog with a focus on life post-graduating (and all the ups and downs that come along with finally entering “the real … Continue reading