11 Pieces of Advice To My Younger Self

11 Pieces of Advice To My Younger Self

Little Bex, you are in for the whirlwind that is life.
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If I could go back in time I wouldn’t redo anything that has already happened in my life because that has shaped me into the woman that I am today.

Every moment that happened had a purpose and every moment that is yet to happen will have a purpose. You have to go through the rough to become a diamond and that certainly does not take place overnight.

Also, helloooo to the butterfly effect! The butterfly effect is when you change one thing that results in complete and utter chaos. That would totally freak me out that I could potentially ruin everything with one wrong step. However, if I could go back I would definitely give little Bex some advice so without further ado here they are.

1. Learn to laugh it off and move on.

A lesson I took forever to learn was to stop getting so embarrassed by the smallest things — I used to blush at the drop of a hat. If I tripped or my chair made a weird sound causing someone to comment I thought the world was going to end. Eventually, I would come to learn it takes a lot to end the world and a chair making a toot sound wouldn’t be the reason why.

2. Dumb ones don’t know, smart ones don’t care.

This is a wise phrase my best friend’s mom, who is like my other mother basically, would tell me this all the time when I let the little things get to me. If you’re constantly concerned with what others are thinking of your every move you will not live life to the fullest. If you mess up or fail it’s okay because dumb people won’t know and smart people won’t care.

3. Everyone has their moments in the sun and you will have yours too.

Being painfully shy I never thought this day would come but slowly I have started to see the rays of sunlight pushing their way through the cracks of life. While I am enjoying these little bursts of light, I can’t wait to bask in the full glow.

4. Mistakes and regrets are two different things. Make mistakes but don’t have regrets.

Mistakes and regrets can be easily misconstrued. Personally, I like to think a mistake is something I can go back and fix it not back to the original state but enough that I can live with it. A regret to me has more of a haunting presence, a regret is something you sometimes can’t let go of. I made specific decisions that led to mistakes but overall I can say I have had few regrets and hella mistakes.

5. Trying to make everyone else happy will not make you happy.

One of my biggest flaws by far and I’m sure many people can relate. The attempt at making everyone happy is one of the most exhausting because it simply cannot be done. I spent many a night stressing about this issue and finally have laid it to rest. Imagine happiness is like a bloated water balloon and you’re a juggler. One wrong move and someone’s going to burst, that kind of pressure will destroy you. I’m not saying ignore everyone else’s needs and become a selfish brat but certainly, don’t lose sleep over making every person in the room happy.

6. If you’re comfortable with life then it’s time for a change.

I had a guest speaker in an Entrepreneurship class tell us that you won’t accomplish much if you remain comfortable in life. Being comfortable is for your retirement days when you have already changed the world, fallen in love, found your independence, and chased your dreams. Get out there and be uncomfortable.

7. You will come across what you’re passionate about don’t deny it just pursue it.

If you find a passion for something just go for it. I love sociology and took it my freshman year of college then left it alone. I finally declared it as my minor my junior year and couldn’t be happier with this decision. When you find your passion don’t deny yourself the ability to chase just do it.

8. People will hurt you and even then be grateful for the lessons you’ll learn from it.

Ah, there is no pain like that of a heartbreak. No matter what relationship you get hurt in (friendships, family, or boys) you can definitely recover from it. And once your healing process starts you can choose to be grateful for the good times as well as the new things you learn about yourself.

9. No one’s opinion defines who you are and don’t change because someone doesn’t like you.

You won’t always win over everyone. If someone doesn’t like you that’s one thing if someone claims they like you but wants you to change is another. Don’t lose yourself for the sake of keeping someone else around.

10. The Glow Up is real.

If you didn't go through an ugly stage, are you even human? And if you did you have only become stronger for it.

11. Twenty-one is definitely twenty-fun.

Little Bex, you didn’t know it then but you do know it now that being twenty-one is a fun stage of life. It’s definitely not the peak but it sure beats a lot of things you’ll experience. Who doesn’t want to embrace their inner Carrie Bradshaw and have a cosmo with the gals on a rooftop bar, amiright?

Cover Image Credit: Becca Steele

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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The Most Important Things I've Learned From Taking Philosophy

The biggest takeaways that I have collected from my time in my Philosophy class.

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When registering for classes for Fall 2018, I found myself drawn to Philosophy 126: Mind, Brain, Self & Evolution. I figured the class would give me the opportunity to perform a lot of introspection during my first semester at college while also helping me fulfill some General Education requirements, and I couldn't have been more right. I've never had the pleasure of taking a class with such a loose agenda and the freedom to discuss every aspect of the information we are learning. That said, there have been a few major takeaways from this class.

First is the idea that you are not the sum of your parts, but the sum of your parts and the parts of everyone around you. Most people have heard the overused quote "It takes a village to raise a child," but this idea couldn't be more than true. We subconsciously pull so many of our habits, preferences, etc. from the people around us that we ultimately grow to become a community within ourselves, and there is something truly beautiful about that. It takes a village to raise a child to become a village.

Second, I've learned how important it is to understand that if some big philosophical or psychological or physical problem has not been solved yet, there is rarely going to be one solution to it. Millions of years of group thought have placed us in the intellectual shoes we are in, and yet we still question every day what our "purpose" is. There are thousands of theories and possible answers to this question, but who's to say that they aren't all correct? Some aspects of life are just too subjective to be answered objectively.

Lastly is the separation between gaining knowledge and experiential learning. Both are arguably equal in their significance, but we don't truly think about how immensely different the two concepts are until we are forced to. In philosophy, there is a theory centered around this experimental design called "Mary's Room." The story is that a woman named Mary has lived in a black and white room her whole life but has grown up learning everything about color and the human reaction to it (biologically, psychologically, etc.).

Once the door to her room is opened and she sees the color red for the first time, she has just learned something new despite already knowing everything there is to know about the concept of color. Experience is the most important part of the human condition and should not be disregarded when it comes to learning.

There are so many aspects of our existence that we never consider on a daily basis simply because we don't have to. There is something unique about people who are in touch with themselves spiritually: they have a greater understanding not just of who they are, but of who they are in relation to the rest of the world. In a fast-paced, Type A world it is especially easy to lose sight of the importance of experiencing humanity, and we often take this beautiful gift for granted.

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