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Friday, Mar 24, 2023

Moody Musings: Being undeniably yourself

Graphic designed by Claire Hammond
Graphic designed by Claire Hammond

I’ve written a couple of back-to-school articles that were designed to provide insight and advice, but I struggled to settle on what to share with readers this year. It’s year four, and while I am full of excitement about the finish line, I can't help but think back on what really heightened my experiences here at Mercer.

You may not recognize your growth and progress in college until the very end or at least the beginning of the end, but there will be moments that make you reflect. When I reflect back on my time here at Mercer, the one recurring theme that became the driving force behind my success and happiness was me being undeniably myself.

There were times when I tried to run from who I truly was, what I really wanted and what really made me happy. These things didn’t directly line up with the vision I had for my college career and life. I quickly learned that you should allow who you are and the things you’re passionate about to drive your vision, not the other way around.

In order to be yourself, you have to allow yourself to do what makes you happy. Sometimes we get so caught up in a designed career and lifestyle and we don’t even realize that what we’re studying isn’t what we really want to learn about and do. It can be scary to let go of societal and family expectations, but it will be very beneficial for you and your journey.

Allowing yourself to really do what makes you happy is easier said than done. The next thing that is pivotal in self-discovery is focusing on smaller decisions that you may not think are as impactful as some of the bigger ones. This could mean deciding to step out of your comfort zone to join an organization you’ve been eyeing for a while. This could also be releasing a hold that you’ve had in a relationship or friendship. Your happiness could be right on the other side of those decisions. We learn about ourselves when we’re vulnerable and uncomfortable.

I have sat in spaces during my time here at Mercer that I knew I didn’t belong in. I didn’t always have the courage to step out of my comfort zone and go where I would grow and flourish. This can be the result of allowing a dependency to get the best of you. Our comfort zones can get us into the habit of depending on other people’s approval, particular results and an ideal life. But we learn that our best days and most impactful moments are always unexpected.

It’s never too late to turn a page. When you don’t know what to expect, you may be anxious and afraid.

Sydney Taylor, who is the founder of sagemosaic, an Atlanta-based corporate creativity consulting company, encourages people to fight their fears when it comes to their career journey.

“If there isn’t a space for you, you can either make it, or it will come to be if you’re passionate and good at what you do,” she said.

Take advantage of sporadic opportunities and random open doors. Allow your passions to drive your actions during your time here at Mercer, whether that’s for the next four years or until next May. Remember to rejoice in your own success regardless of the size of the accomplishment and to undeniably be who you are.



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