A normal life is what you make of it

*This piece recently ran as a Perspectives article in The Loquitur. Feel free to browse through some of my other articles too!

If there is one thing that I have learned since beginning college, it is that you decide what kind of person you want to be and how you want to live your life. Obviously, there are a ton of decisions to make and consider during these four years but none of them should be exactly the same as your friend or colleague.

A lot of the time, decision-making is influenced by peer pressure, or something along the lines of it. Just as it may be normal for someone to study for a test days in advance, it may be normal for a different individual to cram all of the test information into a study session just hours ahead of time.

Normal is defined as “conforming to the standard or the common type.” Fair enough, but with so many diverse people in society, why focus on normalcy when everyone is different in one way or another?

Time for the fun facts: I have traveled outside of the state of Pennsylvania once in my life and have never been inside of a McDonald’s fast food restaurant.

If the expression on your face is anything similar to the ones I’ve seen before, then I’ve gotten my point across. I’m not at all bothered by what I haven’t done before. To me, my life is as normal as the next person’s.

Trust me, though, there are many more facts that will boggle your mind, so I’ve been told. I don’t travel, I don’t like fast food, I’m an obsessive writer and music listener.

Welcome to a day in my life.

If you find out what you are good at, then pursue it. Don’t worry about the things you do not succeed at, focus on how to improve the skills that you already have.

You can look at your choice of major, for example, as a sign of who you are. Obviously, we all have our own niches and career expectations. We all have a view of what we want to do for the rest of our lives, and hopefully that view brings us happiness.

I’m a communication major at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa., and I wouldn’t change that for anything. The communication department attracted me to this school and I am loving every second of it, even with my hectic travel times as a commuter student.

But all of this is normal to me, of course.

Back in high school, I knew I was going to commute to Cabrini, simply because it was more my style and the campus was not terribly far from home. My friends would brag about “the college experience,” how living on campus was the only way to experience life.

Sure, on-campus living can be a big step forward in terms of freedom and can provide you with lasting memories. At the same time, there shouldn’t be a huge difference between what is expected from commuter students and residents – both are college students, after all.

Whether your ideal summer day is sitting on the beach or staying indoors, there is no wrong way to enjoy it.

That’s what I want to get across to people. You don’t have to give into peer pressure or do something you really don’t want to do just to be considered normal.

There are tons of things that people will recommend you to try over the course of your life, things that they will convince you are normal.

Some people may not think that I have the most typical and adventurous life in the world, but that is fine by me. I personally enjoy the way that I am living, so why would I want to change a thing?

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