If you’re reading this, don’t be afraid to follow your own path.
As students, it can feel like we get wrapped up in trying to map out our lives, in trying to determine the ideal destination and the single path that can get us there. We can see opportunities as necessities to keep us on track, and when we fall short, we feel like we have failed.
But in college, as with life, there is no “right way”. Stumbling off the beaten path is not a sign of failure. It is instead a new opportunity.
In any competitive environment, the pull towards conformity is always strong. We can hold those who reach the desired destination up on a marble pedestal. Yet we will always feel inadequate if we judge our success off of our ability to replicate theirs.
Just because you aren’t in Honor, UGuides, StudCo, UJC, HRL, Jeff Soc, or another prestigious group doesn’t mean you have done something wrong. Your path is completely your own, informed by your unique experiences, ideas, dreams, and abilities. College shouldn’t be about adding feathers to your cap to show off, it should about adding feathers to your wings so you can fly.
So, do what you love.
Follow your passion.
Seek out the subjects and the people who interest you.
Challenge yourself on your terms.
When failure inevitable strikes (as it does for everyone, myself included), explore where it leads, because it just might lead you someplace even better.
But most importantly, don’t ever be afraid to follow your own path. To say “fuck you” to convention. To chart a new course, and in doing so, truly become the master of your own destiny.
We are all rooting for you.
Anonymous, University of Virginia