Opinion

Finding yourself is no easy task

In Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, every adolescent reaches a point when they must face the crossroads of identity and role-confusion. According to Erikson, adolescents must deal with an “identity crisis” in order to form a full commitment to their identities. My intention is not to show off fancy-pants psychology theories to prove a point, but it does serve a purpose.

Now, it’s pretty convenient that I’m in the dénouement of my personal identity crisis at the midpoint of my college career, but fate doesn’t wait – it just sort of happens. The reason for the crisis is that, until recently, I’ve been absolutely terrified of growing up and it’s because I’d heard the question “so what do you want to be?” one too many times.

The question bugged me so darn much because I couldn’t help but think, “I am already what I’ll ‘be!'” Perhaps my profession might change from student to something more monetarily rewarding, but I personally will be just about the same. I’ll still be a tall, olive-skinned goofball with immigrant parents and a penchant for Woody Allen movies and oral sex. But I guess that wasn’t a reasonable response for the questioners, so I pondered.

As a result of “the question,” growing up became synonymous with finding a profession. So I found the easiest solution: refuse to age. I started to visit my parents every weekend for an unhealthy dose of coddling, I adorned my entire room in Mickey Mouse decorations from when I was six, and even jammed to Big Willie Style to reminisce about the days of yore.

All the while, my parents continued pestering me about going to law school so I can be a real, upstanding citizen of the world.

So, reasonably, I resisted more. I started to take my classes less seriously and got written up several times in the dorms, subconsciously hoping that if I didn’t succeed at this whole college thing, I could somehow ease back into pre-teen bliss.

But, after writing a bunch of sad poems filled with more angst than a stadium of Evanescence fans, I realized you can run all you want, but you can’t hide from yourself. I knew the future was imminent, and I had no choice but to face it head-on.

It was about that time that I watched Ali. In the movie, Ali (played by Will Smith) is being lectured by his advisors about the press and a recent statement. He erupts, “I ain’t gotta be what nobody else want me to be. And I ain’t afraid to be what I want to be, think what I wanna think.” Double negatives aside, he makes an amazing point.

As students, we all struggle with the idea of our future and where we’re headed, but there is absolutely nothing that we’re supposed to be. And it’s invaluable to figure that out before the end of this college experience.

All that we can do is follow our talents and our interests and do what intrigues us, and hope that along the way, other people will relate. For better or worse, we’ll be proud of the result, because it’s ours.

So what I offer to the faithful readers of this fine publication: stay grounded not in expectations, but in yourselves. And never settle for less than you’re worth for the simple excuse that someone told you you should.

April 29, 2009

Reporters

Dan Buyanovsky

Senior Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

New technology could help schools identify shooters and other intruders before they enter the door. ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.