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Whenever I reflect on my past few years at UK, I find myself thinking about how much I’ve changed and grown. Part of being in college and getting more mature is changing. I’ve personally never been good with big changes—it sort-of gives me the heebie-jeebies to think about them. The main thing I’ve learned is that not all change is bad or scary.

All of these new experiences have given me the opportunity to develop myself and find out who I really am. College gives students the chance to start fresh, push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new things you otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s important to have these new, exciting and even scary experiences while you still have the time. You’re able to discover new things about yourself and develop a defined sense of personality and self.

This concept can translate to the music world as well. Two artist who have truly tested the limits and changed so much are Jaden and Willow Smith. You may remember hearing Jaden on Justin Bieber’s track “Baby” or Willow’s anthem “Whip My Hair”. The two have done a complete 180 on their music styles and have become better musicians for it.

Jaden’s new album “ERYS”feels like a movie when you’re listening to it. He still sticks to his roots by having the album be heavily R&B influenced. He’s incorporated smooth music and soft vocals with some edgier rock tracks like “Fire Dept.” Willow’s new album “WILLOW” oozes feminine energy and dive bar jazz-singer vibes. They have both managed to flip the script on their music and the way they portray themselves, and they both did it while being young.

They have both unapologetically created a new image and sound for themselves. That’s the biggest step in finding your voice—being yourself and understanding what that means. The Smiths’ new albums show that pushing yourself and trying out new things can have a really positive result. The music they created feels genuine to me, because it’s the music they have always wanted to create.

As the last couple of months in the year go by, take a moment to reflect. Think about what you’ve done and how far you’ve come and congratulate yourself for that. Also, take some time to think about who you really are. Are you happy with that person? Is this the person you want to be? Is there anything you want to try but don’t know how it’ll turn out? Go for it!

While you’re still young and are still figuring yourself out, do things you’ve never done before. Push your limits and express yourself however you want to. Your college years are the time to do everything and anything you want. They are the time to start to fall in love with yourself and find your voice.