*Republished from the January / February 2018 issue of The Kayseean
By Fausto Crapiz
2018 has rolled in and so have New Year’s resolutions for many students. Many are planning to lose weight, see the glass half full, overcome their crippling and self-destructive social anxieties, volunteer more, read thoughtful literature etc….
But at what point do we risk changing who we really are as individuals? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t lose a few extra pounds or read some classic American literature, but rather that we examine our key interests and values.
As students at a small, Christian university, it’s all too easy to be consumed by the clique that we fall into. We become like those who we interact with daily and, in turn, lose a bit of ourselves. Because we’re human pack animals, there’s nothing wrong with a certain amount of conformity, but blind compliance can go too far.
Previously, I entered East Tennessee State University as a freshman in the Honors College. In addition to being part of this group of highly educated individuals, I picked up speed in my career as an athlete. As a cyclist, my training load was fairly heavy-averaging 15-20 hours on the bike a week. However, I worried about being branded as a ”jock” and thus hid my training from my academically gifted peers.
I tried to become the “academic” that I never had been and, all the while, I thought it was the best for my social health. Now, two years later, my hindsight is 20/20. As a member of the cycling team at King, I have explored my true goals.
I’ve come to realize that I can’t change who I am whether or not the change seems to be an improvement. Sometimes it’s almost necessary to settle for who we are rather than struggle for our idealized selves.