Self-expression in college

Photo courtesy: Luminada

Self-expression comes in various forms throughout college. Amongst the constant chaos of the college environment, students often wonder where they can find a release from the mundane. 

By taking on specific activities and spanning a wide array of hobbies and interests, college students find different ways to express themselves.

Being an essential part of college, self-expression also helps to have a healthy balance with academic life. As described by Forbes writer Marybeth Gasman, self-expression coincides with academic freedoms. Student’s ability to express themselves, whether it be through art, cultural heritage, or political activity, helps to shape students’ views of themselves and the world around them. 

With things in place, such as HB 999 in Florida, which takes away government funding for various DEI initiatives, outlets for self-expression are necessary for college students to have outlets to find community and ways to express their identity through various activities.

 On FAMU’s campus, this can be done through joining performance-based organizations like Voices Poetry Group, Attack Dance Crew, Art Club, Essential Theatre Union, and more. These organizations not only exist to provide students with skills that can be used way after college but also allow students to find new ways to express themselves creatively. 

This was emphasized by writer Karen Collins from Knowledge Without Borders: “Self-expression, through writing and other forms, contribute to positive impacts on health and academic achievement.” Having an outlet or a place to express your most genuine feelings and emotions prevents them from impacting or hindering your academic progress throughout college. Doing so will allow you to further your development as a student and an individual. 

Some students, however, believe that while college gives you the outlet to express yourself, it isn’t fully freeing to do so. As shown in a student opinion poll by New York Times writer Natalie Proulx in 2018, students expressed that while college would be the prime place to find yourself and your self-expression, it can be limited in how you can do so. 

Both things can be accurate; however, now there are more opportunities for students to have these places and create these spaces. Seeing a gap not only for themselves but other fellow students and creating ways for them to express their most authentic selves that generally wouldn’t be seen as viable ways to do so. 

All in all, self-expression in college can lead to you finding yourself in the world of the college bubble and finding those larger pieces in life after college.