Sitting on the couch in my dorm room is the greatest feeling ever. Nobody is around to tell me what to do. I can play all the FIFA I want and eat all the candy I desire. My mom is not there to yell at me to read a book or to go do my homework. That’s the best part about college; you become your own person, where you make all the executive decisions on what you want to do that day and what you want to eat. It molds a person into a true individual who acts based on her or her own intuitions.
While reading John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, I couldn’t help but make an instant connection to college life. Mill states that “individuality is one of the leading essentials of wellbeing”, and that “in proportion to the development of his individuality, each person becomes valuable to himself, and is therefore capable of being more valuable to others”. Mill voraciously believes that individuality is essential in the world, as it leads to innovative ideas and inventions. He believes that people should be free to pursue a wide variety of activities and lifestyles, as long as it is not harmful to others.
Growing up, kids take on the ideologies and religious beliefs of their parents. They conform only because they do not have a mind of their own that can think and make decisions that are beneficial to them. At the age of 15, people begin to shape their own beliefs and identities. Once people get to college, they are able to truly discover who they really and what they really believe. College is a place where people become individuals. For the most part, it is the first time people begin to live on their own. They clean as they wish, do laundry when they feel like it, and go to class when they are up for it.
While all these actions have consequences, they are solely decided by the individual himself. Students also are able to choose from a variety of classes, ranging from Art and Film to Astronomy. They can pursue their interests and discover other unfound subjects that intrigue them, without public influence. In addition, college is known by many as a time where people experiment. Teens try a variety of drugs and drink an unreasonable amount of alcohol. Mill urges people to participate in these actions, as he believes that individuals should pursue a variety of activities, even if it harms them. College shapes individuals’ identity, as it gives them the freedom to pursue various activities they are interested in.