Does College Kill Your Personality?

Earlier this month, my roommate mentioned something to me that I have not been able to stop thinking about- “College kills your personality.” Is it possible that this is true? After a lot of thought on my part, I have come to the conclusion that yes, it does. Why? For me, most days I feel like a shell of who I used to be. I thought maybe this was a phase or maybe even a part of my depression, but now I’m not so sure.

My first clue of this is my passion for learning seems to be diminished. I feel more irritated in class now than I ever have before- all of the information seems so irrelevant. I used to enjoy learning new things for the sake of learning, but now, if it doesn’t apply directly to my future, I just don’t care. My second clue is the extreme change in my moods. Two years ago at this time, it was a rarity to see me without a smile on my face. I was always happy, laughing, and radiating with positive energy. I said “hi” to everyone I knew in the halls, and never let anything get me down for too long. Now, a smile feels almost foreign my face. I frown much more than I used too. I feel that I am so negative and stressed all the time that the simplest thing can bring down my entire mood. The next, and probably saddest, clue is the lack of pleasure I feel from things that used to make me happy. While I still enjoy painting and drawing, it doesn’t feel as natural as it used to. I spend so much time focusing on getting it perfect that I often forget to enjoy doing it. It feels as though art has lost much of its luster for me. I also find myself caring a lot less. I used to put my whole self into assignments, and now I barely but any effort in at all. Why? Because I just don’t seem to care as much as I did. Believe me when I say, this has been both a blessing and a curse. My final clue came today when I told my professor I didn’t feel passionate enough about something to want to write ten pages on it. What!? Did that seriously come out of my mouth!? I don’t feel passionate enough? I have always felt that I was too passionate about things, especially when it came to issues in schools (which is what the paper is on), and now I can’t think of something. Two years ago, in high school, ten pages on something would have been child’s play for me, and now I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to make it work.

With these blinding realizations, I can’t help but wonder- is college the cause? Is the stress getting to us, is it merely a part of growing up? Whatever it is, it fills my heart with sadness. So much of who I was seems to be lost somewhere. It pains me to know that I have lost parts of what makes me me. So does college kill your personality? I don’t know, but I think it’s killing mine.

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