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Post Column: Exploring different interests can help you find your direction

We often build our own identity upon the current surroundings of our lives. Growing up, this is achieved through the influences of family, hometown friends, and the overall system of beliefs that comprises our hometown demographic. When we come to college, that system of beliefs is torn apart — quickly.

Suddenly, we’re all in a rush to find out who we are. Some have established their favorites in the arts and have even gone on to desire to make these things for themselves. Others have a pretty good sense of who they are and their overall purpose here on Earth. I still remain somewhere in between.

Music is one of those beautiful things that makes me believe that life has a general purpose. It’s something to be enjoyed, and every once in a while you’ll come across that “life-changing” track or artist that moves you into this alternate reality, even if you’re there for just five minutes. However, now that I’m established at OU, I found out that music is hardly anything to me when I’m not home with my familiar people, listening to music that they’ve practically all discovered for me. I don’t think I’ve updated my iPod since August.

What do I enjoy listening to? It was a mere panic when I attempted to sit down and find new things to enjoy in the entertainment industry even beyond music. Movies, literature, these are all aspects of my life that have been recommended and exposed to me year after year. And I despise the fact that I don’t feel sufficient enough to trust myself in discovering what I might possibly enjoy.

Juggling different theories about my purpose in life has taunted me for about two years now, and sometimes I enjoy getting lost in the thought of how I evolved. Other times these thoughts persuade me to take a nap. When did I become addicted to coffee? What purpose do the people I’ve become closely acquainted to have to serve me? Why do I feel more inclined to sit in my room watching the rain splash against my window as opposed to going to class and learning something that has the potential to impact my life?

Many of the thoughts we have during our years at home can sometimes be answered by parents, other family members, or longtime friends that have been familiar with your problems since day one. This is where the comfort in who we are is established during those years. Being on your own with new friends and new experiences is a terrific time, but it’s easy to feel more lost than ever when you see people constantly getting involved, being outspoken, listening to music genres you didn’t know existed. Finding yourself staring off at the hills of Athens wondering how these people all came to be interested in these groups is something I find myself doing all too often.

Searching for the aspects of life that you most clearly identify with can be a daunting task; six months and counting is where I currently stand. Yet the one thing that makes it harder is thinking you need to have it figured out and perfected within an allotted amount of time-this is where great conflict arises. Exploring different fields, finding new friends, and letting numerous things such as art, music, film, and reading come into your life on a random basis is my definition of the best way to rebuild yourself, for sitting at your computer and searching for these things might work for many, but leaves me unfulfilled. From there, it appears that gradually we’ll grow into who we’re meant to be.

Garrett Lemery is a freshman studying communication studies and a columnist for The Post. Email him at


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