DUB Speak

Maintaining your Identity in College

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Sometimes loving yourself means taking a break from giving so much of yourself to the rest of the world.

-Angel Lindberg Vazquez

 In today’s world, there is this wide uproar to embody the best virtues you discover around yourself. To be more accepting, to be more outgoing and to lose yourself; because reportedly losing yourself is the key to finding your truest essence – arguably, there is some truth to this too. More often than not, this philosophical outbreak confuses me in all my trial-and-error methods of understanding the young minds in college. Are we truly accepting, to the high extents that we presume ourselves to be? Are we truly that welcoming? These are all subjective answers, and unsurprisingly, the youth will agree that they are all these things and much more. But it is our duty to question, to doubt and therefore to discover the truth. Now truth, again, is a matter that is governed by perspectives. So what we do infer is that to discover truth, you need to discover yourself. This discovery will root from the retaining of your own identity. Your own self.

It is natural for many of us to feel at home in college; to not be outcasted. We are fed with this idea that college life is all about the people and your experiences. But in college, you will realise that there are prejudices, hypocrisies, and vanities – present as they are everywhere. You will realise that you are not smart enough, or have some other inferiority of your own liking. These days you will be shook, when you face a reality that will question your outlooks. The most challenging task that you have to accomplish then is to find an answer. It is not that difficult, look closely and you will find answers – within yourself. My argument borders on pessimistic idealism, some might say, but always remember, the greatest power is in you. No question is too big nor too difficult for your comprehension. Believing in yourself is the first step towards the manifestation of the best version of you. And this is what college is about – becoming.

There are some days, when people will make you question your mannerisms and behaviorisms. When you will be left to fend for yourself – am I being too judgemental or too critical or am I out of place? In my not so humble opinion, the fear of judgement feeds on insecurities. Preaching acceptance and practising it are diametric, to say the least. One of my seniors told me once, that to have a judgment means to have an opinion; and that is the idea of education – to invite our self-introspection, to form opinions. In rude terms of this materialistic world, when something true takes roots, others will try to escape from it or in other words, they will escape from themselves; and in that they end up losing themselves. Once assumptions are made, once people start presuming, the only thing to do is steel ourselves against their supposedly true ideas. I have learned this time and again that apology is not taken in its intended spirit by an ignorant mind. It is always something that diminishes your own character in their eyes.

The choice is always ours, and ours alone.

People don’t like people for being people these days. You like a model, an ideal image of a character. If someone doesn’t suit that image, you will criticise them, and not even to their face. They can claim all their shams of maturity and sensitivity/sensibility are true, but they know the truth, and unsurprisingly, we do too. When something real happens, people will revert to their unrealistic models. And for all I know, I am not a model. And neither are you.
Judgment and criticism and appreciation follow in a particular fashion, but more often than not, ignorance will only have eyes for the first two.

Whatever you are, hold true to it. Embrace yourself and then embrace this world. No one is you, and that is your power.

 You might be wondering – what is the meaning of friendship and acquaintances then? I do not seek to inspire anyone into a lifestyle of devil-may-care attitude, at all. All I wish for us to learn is that there is a truth, sheer truth within us. I wish to tell you that obstinacy of a character that you are is not wrong. I wish to tell you that this obstinacy must also be withdrawn; not because someone tells you to do so, but because you feel this yourself. So never falter in your own musings, because the best that the world deserves is you and vice versa.

Always question and always answer yourself.

Some days, when I am myself,

Alone and alone, self-cornered, self-doubted,
I fail to explore myself, even when
I am, I think, myself.
And these days I ask myself
In no uncertain terms: who am I?

I forget myself these days,
Failing reminders – I am,
I am myself and my joy is in me.
That endless joy, unmeasured,
Unending – I am, I was, I will be.
An endless ocean, my deepest depth, I am.

Strange how I should lose myself,
Bereft of warmth, bestowed with doubt.
On days like these, when you make me
Question myself and all of me,
I feel reduced, but I learned to rise too.
And so I will, always. I will.

Because on these days,
When I lose myself to your denial,
I find myself too, and I find more.
More to Myself.


Feature Image Credits: Favim

Kartik Chauhan
[email protected]



Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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