The concept of Evolution stems from Darwin, who, after researching various animals on archipelagos west of South America, discovered that animals adapt themselves to their habitats.
A bird species that eats large berries and nuts will slowly change its structure to better imbibe on its food while a worm-eating bird species beak will naturally grow to resemble a dagger, prepared to impound on the gooey invertebrate.
We are even familiar with a quicker form of evolution presented in the Japanese game, Pokémon, where creatures change their form, powers and abilities upon growth. Sometimes it is through the guidance of an item or through a “trade” between players, with the endgame of reaching the final stage of evolution.
Freshman Hribar was insistent on making friends for the sake of making them. He wore his hair like a withered mop and expressed his love in bandanas and loud laughs (I talk in third person to draw distinction between Freshman Hribar and my current self).
I think one would be hard-pressed to deny that I needed to change during my freshman year.
I went thrifting for new clothes, I cut my hair drastically short and I began wearing contacts. I introduced my body to weight lifting and began trying to exude some sort of nonchalant mystery.
I finally became confident in myself for the first time in my life. I thought of myself as handsome and presentable instead of looking like some ragamuffin that had been tossed through a sewer system.
Evolution had been kind to me.
I evolved again in the winter of my sophomore year. However, this evolution went wrong: I began to not care for the world, but for myself.
My purpose had been diverted and had been changed by personal failure, corruption around me and torn heartstrings.
It wasn’t until a major traumatic episode did I realize that I had to care about myself and the life I lived. As a result, I evolved again.
That experience taught me that evolution is prone to making mistakes. Birds whose beaks are meant for berries and nuts could suddenly starve on an island without harvest. A Pokémon that evolves with an item at a young age will lack moves to use in battle.
If we as humans can constantly evolve, constantly better ourselves, then we are prone to changing into people that are unbecoming.
We have our own best interests at heart, but sometimes we change into people that aren’t who we want to be. We evolve for ourselves, for our habitats.
However, sometimes we evolve for other people. We allow ourselves to be misguided because we, as progressive college students, figure that change can only be good.
We operate under the assumption that change, and therefore evolution, is synonimous with bettering ourselves. Just as not all evolution is guaranteed positive change, not all change means betterment.
It is important to constantly ask yourself, “how can I change for the better” and whether or not that change is good? What are you willing to change for your evolution?
Always contemplate evolution, but contemplate what that change will do for you both positively and negatively.