When I consider the things I love about college (and there are many), style emerges among the foremost.
I'm not talking about fashion sense; I'm talking about style. Everyone has it. Aura. Personality. Pizzazz. Your individual bravura, unlike anybody else's.
Going to college acts as an impetus for identity - discovering your own, coming into contact with others. Although many of us spent high school concerned with the opinions of others, calculating our every move based on how it would impact our social status (I regret my Hollister phase) (don't lie, you had one too), we grow out of that apprehension in college.
At this point in life, we finallystart truly discovering who we are. As we pursue a career and specialized area of focus - and if we're doing it right, we're studying that which we're most passionate about - we cultivate our interests and discern what really matters to us.
What I'm trying to say is, college helps us develop style.
Style: what a great word. It extends so far beyond clothing. Of course, the way you dress factors into the equation, but so do the music and movies you claim as your favorite, your scent, the establishments you frequent, your posture, the way you respond to bad news. Your style is you - all of you, even the bad parts.
Here at The Spectrum, that concept intrigues us. For that reason, today we are publishing our first-ever Style Issue. This newspaper is not intended to be a guide that informs you of how to live properly; heaven help our vanity if we assumed we had that wisdom. It is intended to share our staff's style with you, to give a quick glimpse into UB's culture in 2014 (I'll bet this issue will be amusing to people in 20 years) and to encourage you to proudly embody your own style.
We are sharing who we are in hopes that it'll embolden you to share who you are. Marianne Williamson put it aptly: "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
You should be proud of who you are, proud to let your light shine. Not arrogant, but proud. Self-aware.
Self-awareness goes a long way in perfecting and amplifying style. To get to a state of full awareness - and I'm not quite sure we'll ever totally get there - we must reflect and ask questions.
What makes you happy? Why do you enjoy dressing the way you do? What do you like about your favorite musician? What from your past has conditioned you to eat the type of food you eat? Are you representing your real style or trying to impress others?
It's easy to go through life without asking these questions, but they are important to consider. When you find these answers and discover the motivation behind the way you portray yourself, you become more comfortable with who you are. This comfort generates confidence.
And confidence changes everything. It can captivate a room. It can help you overcome remarkable odds and reverse negative fortunes. Most importantly, it alters your perspective on life.
If you're insecure and someone makes a joke about your shirt, you're going to dwell on those words for the rest of the day and harbor a grudge. If you're confident and that same scenario plays out, you'll laugh it off and that will be that. You won't hesitate to wear it again, and you won't hold the situation against that person, recognizing the insult probably came from a place of insecurity.
To summarize: the topic of the day is style. Self-awareness produces style, and style breeds confidence. And this entire positive chain leads to truth.
When we proudly proclaim who we are, we share our truth with the world. We are fully honest.
We don't get long to try out this life thing. It's important to leave an imprint with our truth at every opportunity.