In just a short amount of time, I have finished two years of college. I am halfway finished with my college career, and I can already say that this is the most important and useful time in my life. Granted, I fully believe that the "best" years of my life do not occur until after I graduate, but college is the best time to learn and discover who you are as a person. In my short two years in college, I have already learned some valuable life lessons.

1. Don't Listen to Other Opinions...

Literally, I have been learning this since I was in high school. Nobody knows better what is best for me than, well, me. Only I know what my true passions in life are, and it is ultimately up to me to figure out how to put my passions to use. I, as an adult, am the one who knows what is best for me.

2. ...But do take Advice from Others

I have recently learned how valuable it is to have people you can talk to and they give you useful advice. It is good to have peers to trust and confide in. It is true that I know what is best for me, but I will sometimes need guidance. I know what I want to do in life, but sometimes I will need a friend to hold me accountable.

3. Find a Mentor/Spiritual Leader

I don't even think that I could survive these stressful college years if I did not have someone I would consider a mentor who I look up to for their spiritual walk. I cannot stress how important it is to have someone who has lived life and had the same experiences you currently have. I have learned that everything I am going through, someone else has had the same struggle in the past. The truth is that being a woman in her twenties is not easy, and I need someone who has experienced a "twentysomething struggle" to help me get through each day. Believe me, it definitely helps.

4. Don't be Afraid to be the Center of Attention

Maybe this just sounds odd to some of the introverts, but sometimes it is okay to be the center of attention. This does not necessarily mean to be selfish and always demand attention from others. But, do not be afraid to be the loudest person in the room sometimes. Do not be afraid to stand out. You will be surprised by the outcomes. We were not meant to be on the sideline watching from afar. We were created to be in the center of the performance with our best qualities shining.

5. It Doesn't Matter what Others Think

I am still in the process of learning this. I still spend too much time worrying what other people think. For one thing, it really does not matter because I am living my life and not anyone else. The truth is that people do not care as much as I think they do, so I really do not need to be worrying about them.

6. Find a Church and Stay There

Being involved in a church is so good, especially in college. At this age, there are so many temptations and struggles. Let's be honest, college is hard in several ways. Life is hard, but church helps. Having a relationship with the Lord makes this hard life easier. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a relationship with God and having that community in a church. I could not handle life without it at all. It is so important.

7. Crying is Important

This is something that I am still trying to grasp myself. Sometimes crying is needed fro you own healing. It is simply not good to always hold back on your tears and emotions. I apparently love to bottle up all of my emotions to the point where I somehow condition myself to never even shed a tear. This is not something that everyone should do, and sometimes you just need to shed some tears, and you will feel better. There is no shame in crying.

8. Be Thankful

When you are thankful, you suddenly develop a more positive outlook on life. Get a journal and start writing down things you are thankful for. Soon you will realize that you are thankful for more than you realize, and it becomes the most used word in your dictionary. I began this, and now I catch myself just thinking about things that I am thankful for.

9. Smile

But seriously, it is so easy to smile. Everyone has a great smile, and they need to show it off! Besides, smiling makes someone more attractive. Oddly enough, smiling makes you happier. You never know when someone is going to need a positive smile to make their day better.

10. Be Yourself

When in doubt, just be yourself. In fact, you should always be yourself! I always say "There's no better you than you." There is nothing you can do better than be yourself. Besides, God made us this way, so why not be EXACTLY the way God made me to be?