Demi Lawrence is a senior journalism news major and writes "Unspoken" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.
My freshman year, this column was titled “Demi’s Diems.” I tried to play on the saying “Carpe Diem” or “Seize the day,” therefore making my column name “Demi’s Days.”
It was an easy decision when I found out I could change my column title sophomore year — I mean, come on, “Demi’s Diems” was pretty terrible.
So, I chose the column name “Unspoken.”
This column was never really supposed to be about me. “Unspoken” was born out of the idea that what I wrote would be for whomever was too afraid to speak about the topics themselves. I started writing this piece by pouring out all my unique experiences and how they have shaped my time at Ball State, but I soon realized that was not what I wanted my final piece for “Unspoken” to be.
I have always written my pieces with the intent to help and serve others, and spending several hundred words exclusively talking about myself is not how I want to go out.
Instead, I want to talk to you, the readers, one last time.
College is supposed to be this transformative and magical thing for young people. You go to college, and you figure your shit out. You find passions, you develop your soon-to-be career skills and you find your spouse, if you’re lucky.
I can say college was very transformative and magical for me but not because it was perfect. I made a lot of mistakes, one of my first being naming my column an obscure and apathetic phrase that meant nothing to me.
I knew my college experience would never be perfect — no matter how hard I tried to white-knuckle it — but had I known a few things at the age of 18 that I now know at the age of 21, it may have helped.
Maybe they’ll help you too.
Trust the process
The things I wanted as a freshman are worlds different from what I want now. I wanted to get out of Indiana for my internship, but when the pandemic hit, I was lucky to get an internship in the state. It ended up being the greatest experience I could have ever asked for.
As a freshman, I wanted to find a relationship so bad, and now, I am satisfied being single — enjoying it, actually.
Your desires, goals and attitude will change. So, if you don’t get that job or don’t shoot your shot with that person, there is better to come.
You will have ups and downs, but you have to trust that after that down, an up will come. I know that’s cliche and maybe stupid, but I wish I had spent more time in college trusting what was to come rather than stressing about how to fix what had already happened.
The only opinion of you that matters if your own
This may be the most important point I learned throughout my three-and-a-half-year stay in “Funcie.” You know yourself best, so act like it. If someone doesn’t think you deserve the time of day, show them why they’re wrong rather than worrying about why they think that.
I spent a lot of time happy with how people felt about me but miserable with how I felt about myself — and, I won’t lie, I lost some people along the way.
That is OK.
Be secure of yourself. Do what you think is right, do what you want to do and screw the rest, within reason. Live your life the way you want while causing minimal collateral damage, and I promise you’ll be happy.
Live for now
Those who know me know I have a likely-unhealthy obsession with the TV show “BoJack Horseman.” I have watched it four times just this year, and one of the quotes from it that sticks with me every time is “time’s arrow marches forward.”
Even when we don’t want it to, time just keeps moving. We really are just all molecules through which time moves. We don’t get a say, we don’t get to rewind or fast forward. We just have to sit as the arrow marches us through our 90-some-odd years of existence.
I know that is bleak, but to me, it's just a reminder that all we really have is now. If we spend so much time worried about the future or the past, we won’t appreciate and live for the present.
My first three years of college, I was constantly chasing things, and I lost sight of a lot. I wanted to be perfect and do perfect things. I dreaded being just another name people forgot over time — I wanted to stand out.
Now, in my final semester, I see I accomplished all the things I was chasing. I became a great journalist. I fell in love, even if it meant eventually falling out of it. I met lifelong friends. I went to crazy parties. I made insane memories. I also made grave mistakes.
As I said, all of our experiences in college are unique. You will never fully understand my world just as I will never fully understand yours. But I hope these truths impacted you in some way, and I hope you take them to heart.
For the last time, this has been “Unspoken.” Thank you, and Carpe Diem.
Contact Demi Lawrence with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DemiNLawrence.