Carletta Perry-Artis, PHD., is a faculty member in the Psychology department. The following colummn is a response to a common concern college students express.
Q. I don’t seem to fit in. I just feel like a nobody and I’m sorry this isn’t a question.
A. First of all, you are somebody! Some people’s underestimation of us is where our greatness lies. You are great because you are different. You are great because you are creative. You are great because you don’t think like everyone else. You are great because see you are simply you! I’d rather be an original me than a copy of someone else any day. Who said you need to fit in? If you ask me, and you did, fitting in is really overrated, so let’s celebrate you.
Sometimes being in the wrong place around the wrong people trying to fit in can be depressing because you don’t fit. Oh what a joy it is when you are around people who enjoy doing what you enjoy, love talking about what you love talking about and filling your life with happy moments. You just fit, right?
I want you to really work on finding your purpose – your–passion–and do more of what you enjoy. Sometimes the things we think we need, we don’t need. Sometimes the people we think we need, we don’t need. Sometimes we think we must stay on that job, but remember that is a choice when there are so many great opportunities in the workforce.
Did you work hard to get the guy or girl, the career or the lifestyle and it’s not what you thought? Sometimes in life we can be sidetracked by what we believe we should be striving for and lose sight of truly living and enjoying some beautiful moments along the way.
Money does not lead to true happiness. People will not always make you happy. In fact, you may not be pleased with yourself at times, but you can change that by owning your thoughts and choices and living a life of character and very little regret.
One more thing–I ask that you do this for me until you can do it for you. Everyday, make a difference in the life of someone else. It can be a kind word, a small gesture, helpful advice or simply being the best you can be so others around you see what a real everyday hero looks like. Heroes don’t fit in–they stand out.