A college fun fact: people go into it thinking that they will get a fresh start. Recall the month before you came to Cal Poly; remember making yourself promises to break a pattern engrained by awkward teenage years (shyness, physical image, being single)? I’m no exception. My first quarter at Poly I attempted to recreate myself into a more social, image-conscious, boyfriend-equipped shell of my past self. I lost my sarcasm because boys didn’t know how to respond. I changed my morals because it was easier. I stopped playing pranks on people, concentrating instead on comparing myself to every other girl.

Unfortunately, for every person who can relate to this, here’s the price; it catches up with you (i.e. the disturbing and saddening realization that part of your life was wasted on trying to deny/change what an amazing character you already had). You’re a person of substance. There were probably rocky times, but they shaped you and gave you strength and compassion.

Instead of recreating yourself, try embracing it and using it to enhance your time here. Yes, you should try new things, meet new people and keep an open mind, but only once you learn to love who you are will you be able to grow into who you will become.

You are 18-plus years in the making; use that amazing foundation in every challenge you give yourself here. It’s much more fulfilling to develop as a person you are familiar with than to start with nothing at all and flounder to create something.

Mollie Helmuth

Biology sophomore

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