Reinvent Yourself at College

A surprising number of people use college to reinvent themselves. It's the perfect opportunity to do so.

The history that has followed you through elementary and high school isn’t quite so obvious. You are around a lot of people who know almost nothing about you, and you can determine how they will perceive you.

This is not to say that you must reinvent yourself, or that the makeover has to be complete head-to-toe transformation. There are lots of wonderful things about you, and they should remain untouched. There probably are, however, some things you would like to change, and you might find it easier to do so in college than anyplace else.

Begin by figuring out what you would like to change. Maybe you want to be more outgoing, less critical, or more willing to listen to others. When you meet new people, try out the new you. Begin small, and don’t overachieve. One of the best ways to do this is to learn to be a better listener. In addition to making other people feel important, this gives you a chance to respond in a new way. Were you known for being late to stuff in high school? College is a place to turn over a new leaf.

Choose wisely when you decide what you would like to change about yourself. Be sure that the change will have a positive outcome in and out of college. The change should also be something that you can sustain. If you decide to make a change and soon discover that it requires too much effort, you probably should not have made it in the first place. Make a change that’s right for you and will have a lasting positive effect.

Keep in mind that friends and family might have a bit of difficulty adjusting to the new you. In addition, it might be harder to keep the reinvention thing going in the environment where the old you was comfortable. You can expect to fall back on old ways occasionally. Nonetheless, if you want to make some changes for the better, take your time. Important changes don’t happen overnight, and you will have at least four years at college to make the reinvention permanent.

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