17 Things I learned in2017

17 Things I learned in2017

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin.
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As January begins to wrap up, I have found myself reflecting on the past year that I have just lived. 2017 was indeed an exciting year for me. I found myself living through a hectic year that taught me numerous things. So here are the 17 things I learned in 2017.

1) Failure is okay. Learn from it and move on.

I found myself struggling with specific classes, and it reflected my grades. But, after a terrible semester, I learned from it and went back and made sure I bought a significant improvement in the quality of my work. This growth often came by asking questions.

2) Find what is important to you and pursue it

I have realized that I am passionate about so many things. But I never tried to continue them. I choose to do so by making sure I pick one passion and begin working on it.

3) Pace yourself. Have a schedule and continue.

I learned that if I pace myself and set a schedule for myself, I will accomplish everything I need to. I realized that being disorganized will push my failure rather than success.

4) Stuck in the past? Talk to someone close to you and move on

If you have experienced something that you are disappointed with then reflect on it and move on it. If you can't, resolve it, and you can't move on from experience, talk to someone you are close to and talk it out or ask for advice.

5) Don’t get distracted

If you tend to stray from the path you are on, put yourself in situations you will be forced to trail on your track. For me, the best way I used to finish assignments would be by sitting at school.

6) Use your time wisely

Know what is important to you, and don't waste your time doing other tasks that are not important.

7) Want something? Earn it.

You won't get anything in your hands. If you want it, earn it. For me, if I wanted good grades then I had to make sure I did everything to ensure to achieve the grades which were outstanding.

8) Care about something take action.

I believe that every voice can leave an impact. I have begun my journey to accomplish everything that I support and will continue to voice my opinion.

9) Don’t let your fear get the best of you

I learned that if I am scared of something, it shouldn’t hold me back from doing things. It also prevents me from doing things that I am already aware of it. I realize that no matter what, even if I fail, I have to try everything.

10) Take risks

If I don’t know the results of something, it shouldn’t prevent me from doing what I genuinely need to.

11) Keep educating yourself

I need to keep learning. Even when I am on break, I need to keep learning. Thus, I decided to learn from Ted Talks, articles, and even my peer writers.

12) Value friendships. Keep meeting new people

This past semester, I tried an internship which ended in a weird way. However, despite the negative experience, I met new people and even made a new friend.

13) Prioritize

I learned that if I keep in mind things that are going to keep me from the goals that I want to achieve. Whether it is making sure I finish my dual degree or even reach my health goals, I have to put my mind to it and keep going if there is some failure along the way.

14) Don’t worry about what others think about you.

I spent a lot of time worrying about what others thought of me. But, I knew I had to change this aspect. This drastically changed for myself when I chopped long hair and had to rock a pixie. This was a drastic change that would allow me to reflect on myself and look at myself positively and forget what others were saying.

15) Ask for advice if you're lost.

I am yet lost in my future. Thus, I began asking those around me to suggest what I should do. Even if it means sitting and listening. Also if it means trying things that I am scared to do so.

16) Cherish everything you have, especially time.

If you begin cherishing the good things in life, and your time, you will accomplish so much in your life.

17) I have a lot to learn.

I don’t have all the knowledge in the world, so I plan to keep learning. Yes, I will have some moments where I may stare at the wall. But I must I keep learning, as it is the only thing that will keep me going.

Cover Image Credit: google

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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A Little Glimpse Into What It's Like To Grieve In Your 20s

Debunking the stigma behind grief in the everyday young adult

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A few days before last semester my little brother, Ethan, took his life. After years of him struggling to find his place in the world, he put his troubles and sorrows to rest. I had just moved into my sorority house to begin my Junior year, and a few days later I awakened late at night with several missed calls and messages. My dad texted me saying, "Ethan passed away Blair, dad is so sorry." When I first read the text, I had to keep reminding myself that it was real. Shortly after receiving that, my parents and family friends came to bring me home from school.

The next few days were filled with a roller coaster of emotions. I was reuniting with old friends and community members for days on end while we were all trying to understand the immense pain that my brother had felt. Soon, I went back to school because I knew that even in times of tragedy, life goes on. Above all else, I knew it's what my brother would have wanted. Being back at school is/was interesting. I felt like I was being judged by everyone for returning to school so early. I was in no way ready to discuss my family's recent tragedy, and I am still not ready to discuss it, yet people insist on asking for information regarding my brother's death. Despite this, the people around me continuously promised to support me when I was feeling sad or hopeless. The weeks after Ethan's death had me in a complete fog, making it hard to focus even to this day.

Fortunately, not many people have to deal with the death of a sibling at such a young age. Subsequently, many are not sure how to handle such a thing. I am often at a loss for words for what this experience feels like. Often times I feel bad that people don't know how to respond to me. Grief is something I would never wish upon someone.

Even on the days I feel alone, I know that there are people here to support me.

It means the world to me when people reach out and ask how I am doing, or to meet up with me for something as simple as ice cream. I appreciate this more than one knows.

On top of dealing with my brother's death I was dealing with rejection from a boy for the first time. Rejection of any kind is difficult, and is something everyone experiences in their life. Although I have felt rejection in many forms, especially being an aspiring actress, this was the first from a potential suiter. The loss of any friendship has been so hard after losing my brother. It has been hard to process other aspects of my life, and especially the crazy life of dating and being a 20-year-old in college. Moving on, and separating my grief from that rejection has been no easy feat.

As my semester was coming to a close, I ran into the boy I was interested in at a holiday party. This time of year had proven to be hard for me when I thought of the happy times spent with my brother during the holidays. That night was the first time I was unable to compose myself and put my best face forward being the actress I am. I couldn't hide my emotions anymore and I was overcome with grief. I had hit rock bottom. This journey has consisted of immeasurable self-doubt and soul searching.

Soon after the holiday party, I was told by someone who has been an authoritative figure to me, that "I was grieving weirdly" and that I "should go home for the rest of semester and take an incomplete". There were only two weeks left of the semester and my grades were great. I was so deeply offended by this notion, and that they had the audacity to judge the way I was grieving. I have been trying my best, and that is all that I can do. Despite this toxic conversation, I finished out the semester strong and took my well-deserved three-week break. My break was filled with much needed respite, creative inspiration, and time to collect my thoughts.

Coming back to school, I had an open conversation with my community on the reasonable steps they could take to support me in my journey for the rest of the school year. All someone that is grieving asks, is for you to sympathize with them. Thankfully, it was received well and I look forward to my upcoming semester.

There is often a stigma behind people who are actively grieving. Yes, I am going through a lot, yes, I am sad. But that doesn't mean I am incapable of loving life and experiencing things going on around me at school or in my life. This especially includes dating. I have learned that it is okay to embrace my feelings and express them in whatever way I deem fit. Grieving the loss of my brother has also made me stronger than ever. I can handle anything and I am ready to make my impact on the world.

Everyone experiences pain, struggle, grief, etc. What matters most, is how they come out of it. I want to continue the message of kindness. I am so grateful for my newfound bravery and at the end of the day, I will always miss my brother's unique perspective and outstanding sense of humor. If he were here today, first he'd probably roast me and then I know he would only want the best for me. In the end I plan to live my happiest life.

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