I spent a day tracking the most frequent subjects of thought that inundate the minds of other college girls and myself, and I came to the conclusion that they all mirror bigger life questions: Who am I, what is the meaning of my life, where do I stand in relation to the person I love, what can I offer to the world, how can I best further my relationships with others, and where is my true home? I don’t claim to have all the answers by any means, as I am still on my own journey. But I can offer some insight from both classic and “new age” writers and thinkers that may inspire you on your own path.
1. Identity – Who am I?
“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body.” C.S. Lewis
No matter how others may judge you, your body is only the cover to the novel of your life. You are much more than meets the eye, and college is the perfect time in our lives to break down external barriers. Whatever helps you feel whole in your natural state – meditation, exercising, cooking, reading, painting, whatever it may be for you, never stop exploring it.
2. Purpose – What is the meaning of my life
“There have been moments when my whole life made sense. I knew exactly who I was. The people in my life were all there for a reason. Clearly, and without a shred of doubt, I knew that the reason was love, so for that moment I could laugh at the preposterous notion that I had enemies or that I was a stranger in this world.” Deepak Chopra
From my experience there is a major difference between a life meaning and a life mission. A life mission is your goals and aspirations; a life meaning is what you derive from pursuing that. For me at least, all meaning in life is rooted in love, both receiving and expressing it back to the world around me. No matter what meaning you find, love is a strong foundation and ideal place to start.
3. Relationships – Where do I stand in relation to the person I love?
“I am convinced that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom, having the most important thing in the world without owning it.” Paulo Coelho
I think we have all stood witness to college relationships that fall into the grey area between true, boundless love and love of control or security. Wherever you feel you fall in the spectrum, love starts within you. If you have pure love to give, you will see it come back to you. Even when new relationships or breakups happen, you always have Paulo Coelho by your side to remind you what freedom really is – and at least a good book won’t call you 10 times in a row to hang out, or conversely demand his sweat pants back.
4. Fulfillment – What can I offer back to the world around me?
“The gift you offer another person is just your being.” Ram Dass
This is a more eloquent version of the old mantra to just be yourself. Your natural energy adds more to the human consciousness than you know, because you’re unique and beautiful in a way that no one else in the world is. But as college girls, we already embody this.
5. Acceptance – How can I best further my relationships with others?
“I will gain the most knowledge from those people I intensely love and intensely dislike: The one reflects my highest aspirations; the other reflects my deepest fears of what lies inside me.” Deepak Chopra
It’s happened to all of us, we’re walking around campus and then out of nowhere comes someone who annoys us beyond all belief, even if we can’t quite put our finger on why. We’ve spent every year of our lives since kindergarten hearing that “you can’t get along with everyone,” so much so that is has become the justification behind almost every feud, no matter how petty. While it is true in some respect, the only way to be free of those people that bring negativity into our lives is to realize that the source of that negativity is in fact ourselves. Once it is acknowledged, it’s almost silly how different that “annoying” person will seem to you. The opposite is also true, when you realize that your love for others is a mirror to yourself, your inner love and compassion will grow beyond any former limits. So thanks, Deepak, for eliminating my hatred for group projects (for the most part).
6. Home – Where is it, really?
“Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place.” Rumi
How can you ever be truly homesick when you’ve been home all along? Home isn’t just where the heart is; it’s where the soul feels at peace. The furniture you’re resting on reading this article is home. Home is transient, because it’s been you all along. And to be honest, it’s amazing how much lighter of a packer I have become after internalizing this!
What do you think?
What are the recurring themes in your life? How has college affected your own life’s journey? Drop us a comment and share your own story.