What makes you hungry?

Abigayle Allen, Opinion Editor

A couple of weeks ago, my senior-seminar professor plainly asked my peers and I “what makes you hungry?” This question has lingered in the back of my mind since that class period. To be such a simple question, I think the answer may be complex.

My class went around in a circle explaining the reasons why they wanted to write and what continued to fuel this passion through the white noise. (Disclaimer: I am a creative writing major, so the question was asked in that aspect.) Many of my peers recounted the diary they kept since they were younger, the English teacher in high school that gave them hope or the simple answer that they just knew that is what they wanted to do with their lives.

For a long time, I prided myself that I wanted to choose a career that would make my parents’ sacrifices worth it. While that statement remains true, I started diving into the unanswered questions I had about the unprecedented future I was about to face. 

Our generation has been driven by social media since we were kids. Many of the choices made have been done so under the advice from influencers or the examples set by those we may have idolized on social media. So many lifestyles that seem to be popular have to do with “fitting in” or what may be trending on TikTok. I guess the bigger question I started to ask myself was, what decisions am I making that truly make me happy or fuel my fire? 

It is no debate that each person is born with a unique set of values, opinions or mindsets that set us apart from each other. However, it is in my opinion that many of us suppress our true selves to instead exude the parts of ourselves that may look pretty on paper. I think the rise of social media has cursed us with this learned trait. I think it is time we start discovering the things that make our own worlds turn rather than worrying about what other people may think. 

These are some things that have helped me begin to find out who I am and what I want my purpose to be.

1)Find your community. To begin, it is important that you start to surround yourself with like-minded people who practice looking out for your best intentions daily. I know many of us have already formed our friend groups, but this can even be attributed to the content you expose yourself to daily. Take note of what videos you are scrolling through on TikTok, what influencers you follow online, the books you are reading and the music you are listening to. All of these things are a culmination of the community you are actively forming. In finding an atmosphere that is positive and that incorporates the things that make you truly happy, you can begin to find yourself being genuinely happy. 

 2)Learn how to sit still with yourself.I think it is so normal to have the feeling of being completely alone while being surrounded by so many people. This can be attributed to spending too much time with friends and not enough time with yourself. Sometimes in getting to know yourself, you are able to be more intentional with the people in your life. Take yourself on a date. Go to the gym all alone. Go buy groceries alone, or pump your gas alone. I am not saying to isolate yourself or ostracize yourself from your friend group, but it is important that you can be comfortable sitting still all on your own to truly be comfortable with your journey into adulthood. Trust me, self-confidence and self-contentment go a long way.

 3)Journey outside of your “norm.”I think, as college students, it is easy to get lost in the mundane routines of everyday life. These habitual acts can, and will eventually, burn you out. How are you supposed to know yourself and know what you want for your future without doing a little experimenting along the way? Apply for that internship, even if it looks a little different than the plan you have set for yourself. Maybe join a club or do something as simple as explore a form of media that you have never looked into before. I am not saying that having established routines is bad. I myself stick to a pretty strict routine. However, in trying new things, you may learn more about yourself than what meets the eye. 

I by no means want to pretend that I have the ultimate guide to navigating your life, but these are some things that have helped and challenged me this past semester, and I decided it would be selfish of me to not share. Maybe give them a try, or maybe just begin meditating on the things that fuel your fire. Regardless, you are not alone on the road to self-discovery. Stay hungry.