“Now, maybe it’s just me, but college was very confusing times.” No, Forrest Gump, it’s definitely not just you. I’m currently a junior marketing major/ graphic design minor at the University of South Carolina. Wondering what I have planned for after graduation? Yeah, me too. I have no idea if I have enough money in my bank account at the moment to go to McDonalds, let alone what I want to do with my life when I grow up (am I too old to say that…?). For a while I’d just brush off the question with a casual “oh, I’m not sure yet,” but as time goes on and you’re still not sure, the stress and anxiety starts to kick in, especially when it seems like everyone else around you already has the answer figured out for themselves.

My college experience has consisted of a lot of trial and error, since I was not prepared for college life. A new city, new state, new people, and new responsibilities was quite overwhelming for someone who had never really ventured out on their own. Over night you’re expected to turn into this adult who is totally responsible for themselves, from the simple things like figuring out your meals and doing your own laundry, to the more serious things like choosing your major/career path and securing internships. Being thrown into an unfamiliar world, making mistakes is inevitable. However, you are not defined by your mistakes, but rather how you react to them and move forward. It’s very easy to dwell on bad experiences and let your negative thoughts consume you. Trust me, I know. I am one to fixate on things and let them control every aspect of my life. But what I’ve learned is that living your life with a mopey attitude and constantly worrying about the past isn’t going to make your future any better, and it really is no way to live.

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.

(Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning)

I have always been concerned with how my life compares to others, worrying that I am not doing things the right way. I often take the success of people around me as a sign of my own failure, wondering why the great things that happen to them aren’t happening to me. This has resulted in me trying to follow in the footsteps of my peers and live up to what I think is expected of me. But when you’re trying to live a life that’s not yours, one that’s not authentic, it’s hard to be sincerely happy. When I think about the things I enjoy doing, everything is tied together by creativity. Drawing, dancing, even perfecting my makeup or a Halloween costume – anything that allows me to be creative brings me pure happiness, and makes me feel like my true self.

So, I decided to make this blog and title it “What I Liv For,” to create something entirely my own and focus on the things that I am truly passionate about, and to remind myself that it really is the little things that make life worth it.