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Karly Prichard

Let Your Joy Shine Through

by Karly Prichard | Sep 07, 2016

The quote, “Be who you needed when you were younger,” has been driving so much of my story and how I live out my life. When I began writing this post I knew I wanted to share something that I would have wanted (or needed) to read when I was younger.

And I landed on joy. But I also pin pointed that my identity and my best self are also so relevant so I wrapped them into one.

My first, and even second year, of college felt so exciting coming into a fresh year so full of new opportunities, classes, experiences, and friendships. But I was also full of uncertainty. I wondered who my friends would be, what clubs I would be in and what events I’d go to, but the biggest fear of all, who would I go with. You may be feeling or wondering the same thing.

Although surrounding myself in community is my favorite part of life right now, it hasn’t always been. It was hard to find the people who lifted me up with encouragement, felt like my personal cheerleaders, and brought so much natural joy into my life. But college is so much about the journey, the transformation, the discovery of who you are, of what lights you up, and fills you with an undeniable joy.

When you can be your best self and confidently go forward in authenticity, you attract some of the best people into your life.

 KarlyPrichard

But in order to discover your authenticity, sometimes that takes doing things on your own, trying new (and old) things, and being uncomfortable. Through it all though, I’ve found my greatest joy and my personal cheerleaders.

 KarlyPrichard

Here are a few steps in my [continual] journey to fill my life with joy and let my best self shine through:

  1. Get really content with going out on a limb and being/doing totally different than anyone else. For me, that looks like investing in Haiti and spending my summers there. I’ll also be living there from February to May.
  2. Spend time doing your favorite activities or hobbies when you were a kid. For example, riding your bike, going to the park, going on picnics, or creating without limitations.
  3. Stop doing things out of habit or boredom that really don’t bring any joy to your life. You’ll naturally be able to fill your time with the things that do bring joy and contentment.
  4. Find things that you really enjoy doing on your own. This may take trial and error, but it will be totally worth it.
  5. Invest in yourself.

I challenge you to go into today, and each day, pursuing what sets your heart on fire, to make time for what makes you feel free and even like a kid again. You deserve the greatest joy. Your best self will begin to shine through. Your community will come. What are ways that you can bring more joy into your life? 

KarlyPrichard

Karly Prichard ’18 is a Communications major from Warsaw, Ind. Her dream job is to do freelance writing, consulting, and photography for small businesses and non-profit organizations.