Whether you believe it or not, the environment around you develops who you are as a person throughout your life. I’m not talking about the geographical meaning of “environment” (even though it does affect you), but the people and influences around you. People have a tough time realizing the negative effects their environment has on them. Ask yourself the following question:
Do you like what you have allowed your environment to make of you?
Change your environment or change how your environment influences you (harder of the two).
Let’s look at a deeper analysis of everyone’s “environment.”
Nature vs. Nurture
To this day, psychologists argue the development of peoples’ personalities, whether it be “nature” or “nurture”. Some believe hereditary genetics passed down from previous generations makes up who you are (nature). Others believe that experiences or learned behaviors from environments creates who you are (nurture). Personally, I believe that each individual is a combination of both, but “nurture” being more influential. Obviously, one you can control, and one you cannot. So, let’s focus on the one aspect you can control, “NURTURE.” Once you hit the ages of 18-25 years of age, I believe that most environments in this age gap include your: 1.) family, 2.) friends, and 3.) work, college, and the media.
Loving family members provide a source of emotional support to one another throughout life. Influences from family start from the very beginning when you are born. Family provides the single most important environmental influence on a child’s personality development. Usually, positive or negative (usually unknowingly) family beliefs and behaviors are passed from generation to generation. For these reasons, being raised in a stable, traditional family is critical in the development of an individual. Family is also one of the most difficult environments to leave or not let effect you.
As you enter your late teens and early twenties, your friends will become more influential in your life. Average peer groups are around five to eight people. These will include people you spend the most amount of time with, and people who influence you the most. Your peer’s expectations will impact you, sometimes for the good but some for worse. Peers who have high standards will naturally cause you to gravitate towards these standards. On the other end, peers with lower expectations will be much easier to meet. Now I’m not saying to avoid all friends who have low standards, but choose your friends wisely.
Other Factors: Work, College, and the Media
Once college is over and your post-graduation career begins, most of your time will be at work. Try and get a job that appears to have a nontoxic work environment. Most companies will try to fix this, but some things are out of your control. Since work is just a means of living and not your entire life, make sure that its toxicity doesn’t affect your life at home. If so, then don’t hesitate to leave after you have found another opportunity elsewhere.
All colleges and degree paths differ, which makes it tough to generalize the effects of its environment. If your college is negatively affecting you (i.e. stress from schoolwork and such), I would advise to suck it up until you graduate honestly. You are just there to obtain a degree then move on with your life.
Most people don’t realize the amount of outside influence media has on their life. Every time I turn on the news something bad or negative is talked about. My simple solution: don’t watch or listen. Every piece of technological device (TV, computer, cell phone) will have media influence and its usage has been increasing in the last ten years exponentially. The main point to remember with media and technology is that it doesn’t replace valuable one-to-one interactions between people, so limit your use.
Time is one aspect of life that you cannot redo. Spend it in an environment that will support your goals and dreams. Hope everyone has a wonderful holidays and don’t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!
“People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.”
Book of the Month: “Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari