Before college, many of us did not have the chance for meaningful self-introspection. From Pre-K to 12th grade, we’ve been subject to the drudgery of the school system which has boggled us down with inconsequential work for the sake of keeping us busy. The first thing we invariably do when we start college is to use the power of introspection in some sort of way to transition into adulthood. We figure out how to start from this nadir point in our lives to reach the limitations of our own capabilities. We focus more on our future careers and gravitate towards the rejection of traditional school dogma in an attempt to become more educated and find our own unique identities. Suddenly, we have more time to explore our own interests and do what we want without any set schedule, akin to the ROWE strategy that some businesses employ. This experience is what I would call the college prerogative. It is a time for character refinement and personal atonements, but more importantly independence. Independence, wholly encompasses the idea of our newfound freedom, our newfound thinking, and our newfound realization that we are no longer children who have things handed to us. College is a place where we can escape our past inhibitions to pursue what really matters to us. It is the ultimate external motivator that keeps us intrinsically sane and develops us from mere plebeians to functional contributing members of society. We acquiesce to the preconceived notions of independence and do what many other students have done before us. It is this autonomy that helps us become successful. College is, and will be, the place where we can hone our introspections to better both ourselves and society. In the end, we will all be able to emerge as adults, more educated and more free than ever.
An apropos painting by one of my favorite artists: (Pensive by Renoir)