The teachings contained in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib are central to the Sikh lifestyle. Of utmost importance to a Sikh is the application of those teachings in daily life. I think "G" applied those teachings to the question at hand with exceptional clarity. The Siri Guru Granth Sahib says that special dietary restrictions, yoga & austerities, clothing and appearance, none of these is the way to God.
It is those who accept his will and meditate on the Naam who will attain realization. So what's with this whole Khalsa thing? Beard? Turban? 5 K's? Yoga? If this is not the way to God, what are we doing? Life in this world is challenging. The practice of the Guru's teachings and remembrance of our true nature is no easy task. Tuning in to your mind, body, and soul help you to live with grace and compassion. A healthy mind & body and a radiant projection allow one to remember their true nature and follow the teachings of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The Khalsa lifestyle provides the tools for a healthy mind & body and a radiant projection. The Khalsa lifestyle prepares a person to follow the Guru's teachings. The Khalsa lifestyle is certainly not the only way, hence the Siri Guru Granth Sahib stresses acceptance of all religions. But the Khalsa lifestyle is a powerful way and those of us who have knowledge of it are fortunate.
I disagree with the notion that each person should find their own path and experience this and that to enhance their growth. The good news is, you don't NEED to find your own path! Millions and millions have been born on this planet and lived this life. Some of them figured out how to live it best. The Buddha didn't wander aimlessly and meditate in seclusion for years so that everyone else could do the same thing. No, he found a path that everyone could adopt. The Guru gave us a path. We don't need to walk around with our eyes closed and smash our shins on the furniture to grow. We can follow the Guru's path and face life's challenges with dignity and grace for true growth. As far as experimenting in life and finding your identity, what identity are you after? Your ego identity? I have such and such tendencies and by this test I am ESTJ or INTP? Or do you want to realize and identify with your infinite nature?
I recently saw a movie, "Hope Floats." It sucks, don't watch it. I watched in horror as people went through their lives blind, smashing their shins, and growing. They survived, got through the hard times and came out smiling. But they may as well have been quadraplegics! I wanted to make a parody of the movie showing physical injuries as a metaphor for the mental trauma these people were experiencing. Each time they stumble into an absurd situation and survive, they come out smiling but with a large gash across their face. By the end of my movie, the human spirit has triumphed and the people are happy and smiling, but their whole body is scarred, limbs are missing and they drag themselves around the house on their bellies. That's the situation of life. Many people are struggling just to barely survive.
My experience in college, with turban and beard, away from Sikhs has been good. I have had no desire to adopt the habits and lifestyle of those around me, rather they inquire about mine. I never feel the desire to conform, rather I take pride in my turban. Granted, I'm not real big in the frat house party scene, but I have no interest in it. Those who interest me have no problem with my appearance. I suppose if I was interested in the bar-hopping & partying scene, then I might have some problems. But avoidance of that lifestlye falls right in line with adoption of the Khalsa lifestyle.
As for my beard, it's too damn sexy. Daily I struggle to keep the ladies at bay.
Read these most inspiring words once again: If you truly want to shave your beard and make your life a better one, take the name of god as your razor and truth your shaving cream.
Sharpen it with sincerity and cut every hair of falsehood, lies, doubt, fear and insecurity from your face. Your "clean cut" will be seen by all and you will have then obtained the essence of the universe.
There are a lot of things on any spiritual path that you will not like. But make no mistake about it, if you wish to realize your true nature the path will require work, dedication and sacrifice. Keep up!