As a student, it is so easy to fall into the trap of showing up, plopping into your seat, and listening to the professor talk for hours. It's harder to engage yourself in the dialogue, but that's exactly what you should be doing. Hearing yourself talk gives you the opportunity to learn more about your world view - or your lack of one. And there is no venue that promotes the open flow and exchange of ideas better than a classroom setting. It's a chance to grow, to learn about your own life and to see how you fit into history.
The more you live, the more you learn that this saying is true: "Wherever you go, there you are." You can't escape yourself. You travel with your body, mind, heart and soul. Strive to be comfortable by yourself - and in yourself - anywhere you go. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
We all feel better when we share a part of ourselves in intimate conversation with a friend. How many people actually stop to talk with each other anymore? How many people walk past someone, smile and say, "How are you?" and yet never stop to listen to the answer.
This is our society. It's one of hellos and good-byes. People are craving the connection that conversation brings. Sending text messages is not genuine conversation.
On a daily basis, you have the ability to choose what ideas you consume, what books you read, what shows you watch, and what types of people you associate with. These factors have the power to make you grow distant from yourself or to enhance who you already are. But you must be in touch with your core value system so that you may make the right choices and know in which direction you want to grow.
The way to hear your inner voice is to share that voice with others. Speak out in class, share ideas, and don't be self-conscious about your thoughts and opinions. This is the way you learn about yourself and the world around you. This is how you determine how you will play a part to better the world.
How will you bring your gifts and talents to the world stage? How will you leave your mark? What will your legacy be?
If you think about these big questions during your college years, you will spare yourself many years of anxiety. Pondering these questions will guide you into the right first job, and that job will guide you into the next one. Most importantly, you'll find a way to use your talents to serve humanity from your corner of the world. You will know how to make the right decisions for yourself because you'll become your own best counselor and friend.