12 Lessons I Learned In 2016

12 Lessons I Learned In 2016

Worldwide events all forced us to reexamine our own goals on an individual scale.
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There are a lot of words that could be used to describe 2016. Some positive, negative, and an even a balance of both could suffice. But whatever side you fall on more, I see this year first and foremost as a year of reflection.

Though it's perfectly natural, I see this as a year where I have made definite, impactful, and crucial changes in my life. I'm sure others would be able to say the same. It was a big year in pop culture, entertainment, and unsurprisingly politics. Worldwide events all forced us to reexamine our own goals on an individual scale. When looking back, these are the lessons that resonated most with me that I will take away as we say goodbye to 2016.

1. When you’re young, you feel everyone doubts you. When you’re older, the only person who continues to doubt you is yourself.

2. Whether it’s in a dress, entering a room, or meeting a date, make a dramatic entrance. Life’s too short to not let the room know how great you are.

3. Life often throws at us obstacles we feel we are incapable of taking on, yet in the blink of an eye we suddenly become someone else.

4. Accept that sometimes your overscheduled life will come crashing down and all you can do is grab a glass of wine (or whatever you fancy), vent, refocus, and ride out the wave.

5. If you feel like bursting into musical numbers to express your emotions, chances are you’re on the heels of something wonderful.

6. Amidst struggle, it can be hard to see an end point. Success often includes years of hard work, patience, and collaboration.

7. From cursed children to fantastic beasts, Harry Potter will always be a magical place for generations young and old to turn to (even when J.K needs to get off the internet).

8. Mistakes do not define us but are crucial in understanding how we’ve become who we are.

9. The will of curiosity can push you to overcome fear and in that, you will always be more thankful for having taken risks instead of leaving options unconsidered.

10. The sooner you let your inner badass show, the sooner you will be able to find pride in saying, “This is who I am.”

11. Life is full of terrible moments. You may not be able to forget them, but you become stronger because of them.

12. Trust that you’re good at what you love to do and let people think of it what they will.

Cover Image Credit: Lessons Learned

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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