Forging your path: breaking out of your comfort zone

Asia Duren


This is my first column as editor, and I thought it might be nice for all of you to get to know me a little better. My name is Asia Claire Duren. I am 20 years old, and I am from Muscle Shoals, Ala. I am studying to get a communication degree with a minor in legal studies. I love being involved on campus.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to tell stories. When I was little, I would always start stories with, "Ponce a wanna time," rather than the classic, "Once upon a time," not because I thought I was right, but because I wanted to be different than everybody else.

So why should you care about baby Asia? The truth is, maybe you don't, but I do have a point: Choose your own path. Don't follow the crowd because that's what you feel like you are supposed to do. You get to choose how your story begins and ends. Maybe you feel like you haven't started your story yet, and that is totally OK. It seems like people in college often feel like they have to have their lives figured out. And that is true to a certain extent; you do have to choose a major at some point, but that major does not define you.

I feel as though the beginning of a new school year calls for resolutions, just like on Jan. 1. This is a new beginning for all of you. Some of you just graduated high school and are on your own for the first time ever. Some of you are returning for your eighth year of undergrad (you go, super seniors). And some of you are like me - not new to college, but definitely not ready for the real world. So we need to make some goals for the new year. I am pretty competitive, so instead of calling my goals resolutions, I call them challenges. I challenge myself to have a 4.0 GPA this semester. I challenge myself to focus on the big picture rather than the right now. 

This semester, I challenge you to find something you are passionate about and then do that thing. Maybe what you have a passion for has nothing to do with the major you've chosen, and that's OK! If you love to underwater basket weave, then underwater basket weave! If you want to save all of the animals, volunteer at the Lowndes County Humane Society. Maybe your passion does go along with your major, and if so, that's great! Confucious said, "Choose a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." Sounds nice, doesn't it?

I'll let you in on a secret: Everything from here on out is up to you.

How empowering is that? You get to choose what you major in. You get to choose where you live when you graduate. Every decision from this point forward in your life is yours. If you make bad decisions, then life can be tough, but you can always choose to learn from those bad decisions and be better. You can choose to be better every day.

You can do anything, so what are you waiting for?