Let me start by saying this: I cannot give you a step by step guide to figuring out who you are. No one can. However, I can give you some tips that have helped me decide who I am.
There was a time when I was so concerned with how others viewed me that I lost sight of who I was. I focused so much on being the perfect friend, the perfect sister, the perfect active, and the perfect girlfriend that I didn't know how to be the perfect Paige. Honestly, I was really insecure with who I was, so I tried to look for my worth in others and adapt to who they thought I should be. When I finally realized this, I began to chip away the lies that told me that being wanted by others was more important than liking who I truly was. I still haven't figured everything out yet, but now I am able to truly be myself (most days) and actually like who I am as a person. I also found out who my real friends are.
Everyone is different. Everyone changes. I am completely different from the person I was this time last year. Change is inevitable and signifies growth. It is not the end of the world. Learn to embrace change, and use it to your own benefit. Learn from your mistakes.
Use your time wisely.
Everyone is super busy, especially towards the end of the semester. However, if your schedule is so jam-packed that you don't have time to breathe, it is easy to lose sight of who you are. So, I encourage you to spend your time wisely and to take some time to figure out what your hobbies are. This can help you determine what you like to do and what you don't like to do. One way to figure out who you are is by figuring out who you aren't. Also, don't be afraid to say no to UNNECESSARY things that you do not enjoy doing. This is not an excuse to skip your homework, but it might mean saying no to an event when you have other things you need to do.
Travel wherever you can, whenever you can. Explore new places; try new foods; experience new cultures. You can learn so much from learning how others live. Be open to new ideas and people.
Learn about culture, religion, God, your major, subjects that aren't your major, others, life, and yourself. This doesn't mean that you should take others' opinions as your own without examining them yourself, but it does mean learning more about other people's opinions and being okay with not agreeing with them. Part of figuring out who you are is listening to others and respecting them for who they are. I genuinely believe that you can learn about yourself and what you believe by having face-to-face deep conversations with others without judgment. Invest in relationships with others and as you learn more about them, you start to learn more about yourself.
Be able to look past people's flaws, and accept them for who they are. When you accept others, it is easier for you to accept who you are. The reality is whomever you decide to be is your decision; whomever other people decide to be is their decision as well. Everyone has a reason for what they do. Find out yours.
Stop being afraid of what people think of you.
Worrying about the way people perceive you is perhaps one of the most paralyzing yet invisible fears. We often wear masks to try to hide what we don't want others to see. Don't be afraid to let your walls down and be who you truly are. If people cannot accept you for you, are they really your friends? If you are constantly concerned with being perfect to someone else, you will never truly be yourself. The second you start being more concerned with your own self perception than others' perception of you is the second you begin a journey towards being yourself. If you spend your life trying to please others, you're only hurting yourself.
Know that part of who we are is who we strive to be, but it's also about who we are now and who we have been in the past, even if we aren't proud of it. We should always strive to be better, but we must also accept what we don't like about ourselves and take our past for what it is: forgiven.
Once we begin to understand all the amazing, quirky, sometimes dreadful qualities about ourselves, we can begin to figure out who we are and who we want to become. Take heart. Finding out who you are is more than just figuring out who you are at this moment. It is seeing that and taking what you want to become and combining them into your essence. It's okay to be different. It's okay to be indecisive. It's okay to be organized. It's okay to be confused. It's okay to not know who you are. Being content with who you are sometimes means accepting that you don't have everything figured out and that you're still working on it.