17 Lessons I Learned In 2017

17 Lessons I Learned In 2017

A year of reflection and lessons.
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1. Your parents are always right.

No matter what you believe, your parents are the only people in this world that truly want the absolute best for you all the time. Every rule they enforce or advice they give to you is in your best interest. It may be hard to understand when you are young and can't fully grasp that everything your parents do to or for you is because they love you.

2. It is okay to put yourself first.

In life, sometimes you have to do what is best for yourself before you put others before yourself. Not all the time, but do not feel guilty if you take a day to better your well being instead of doing favors for others. There is an level of self-respect one must have in order to be happy and with that, you need to at times put your needs above anyone else's.

3. You need to find a healthy escape from reality when things get hard.

Everyone is fighting their own battle. With that being said, you need to find a healthy way to relieve stress. Whether it be listening to music, working out or going for a long drive does not matter. Find what is most relaxing for you and when you need to escape the most, do it.

4. Start spending more money on adventures rather than material items.

Everyone loves to have nice things – that is just the way life is. However, having memories of going on vacation, music festivals, road trips, skydiving, or any other adventure you want to go on is more meaningful. I promise crossing things off your bucket list and having memories that will last forever will mean more than your designer bag in the long run.

5. People will come in and out of your life.

The truth is, not everyone you meet is meant to stay in your life. Understanding that is hard, yet important. Some people tend to fade out as time goes on, and that just means another person is coming in. Cherish the people in your life but accept that not everyone will stay in it forever. Don’t obsess the ones that didn’t work out, but never harbor negative feelings towards them, it is just what happens in life.

6. Follow your gut instinct.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you whole body is telling you to leave – listen! You know yourself better than anyone else and if you are uncomfortable in a situation, your body will know before your brain. If your gut is telling you to make a certain decision it will very rarely fail you.

7. What goes around, comes around.

What you put out in the world will come back to you. Good things happen to good people and people who tend to constantly hurt others will eventually have it come back to get them. The timing is always different but eventually everyone will get what they deserve. Put out positive energy and you are helping your future self.

8. Live in the moment.

Life flies by. Every moment you experience will become a memory that you can never relive, simply just look back on. Become more observant and look around you everywhere you go – take it all in. Remember every detail, even if it seems insignificant at the time. Put the phone down, live in the moment. What you capture on the screen is not the same as embracing it all.

9. Every hardship you face will make you a stronger individual.

You are a much stronger person than you were two years ago, even six months ago. Every battle you have faced has made you that way, whether you see it or not. Life lessons are not taught in textbooks, they are taught by the problems you were forced to deal with, giving you more strength and courage you didn't even know you were capable of having.

10. Don’t take life too seriously.

We only have so much time in our life to goof around and be light hearted. Make sure you are carefree more often than not. Laughter is the best medicine and that means you must not take yourself or anything around you too seriously. Learn to laugh at your mistakes instead of beating yourself up for something you are not able to change now.

11. There truly is no place like home.

It is possible to make yourself comfortable in a new place, but going back to your home is always comforting. The place you grew up and grew into yourself will always be a place you treasure. Nothing feels better than a wall separating you and your siblings instead of state borders while your away. Home is home and it really is as simple as that.

12. Let things go.

Avoid petty drama. Do not allow something that will mean nothing in a year affect you. No one will care about the fight that seems like the end of the world in just two short months. You will live a much happier life if you do not allow everything bother you. Forgive easily and move on.

13. In order to improve yourself you must step out of your comfort zone.

It is so easy to gravitate towards the things you are used to, but that will not make you grow. Learn to conquer your fears and take risks. In the moment, it is scary but you will look back and thank yourself for taking the leap of faith. No one became successful from never stepping out from what they were most comfortable with.

14. You must have a positive mental attitude.

Your mind and attitude controls your feelings towards every situation you are in. If you walk into an opportunity thinking its not going to work out – it probably won't. Think positively and you can change the entire outcome. When you are upset about something, find the good in the situation and focus on that, suddenly it is not as bad! PMA!

15. Your whole life can change in one short second.

You never know what is going to happen. Life is always changing and it is so important to enjoy what you have while you have it because you never know when it could be gone. Roll with the punches and never settle for what you have, because in just one second your entire future can change. Tell the people you love them while you still have the chance.

16. A simple act of kindness can change someone's whole mood.

You never know what others are going through. A simple compliment can make someone feel so amazing on a bad day. Lend a helping hand, favors that seem to not matter much can mean the world to someone else. Say hello to people you recognize because for all you know, it could be the loneliest day of their life and that can remind them that they have others around them who care.

17. Don't go into situation close minded.

If you enter a situation only wanting one outcome, you will be disappointed most likely. Learn to be more accepting and open up to everyone's opinion. Stop judging others based off looks or social standings. For all you know, the person you thought you could never connect with may become your best friend. Be open to anything and you will see the positive outcomes of it.

Cover Image Credit: Wallpapers.com

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To College Kids Bankrolled By Their Parents, You Can't Put 'Spoiled' On A Resume

Do you expect Mommy and Daddy to foot your AmEx Black Card bill forever?
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Growing up, I never had things handed to me unless it was a present for a holiday or my birthday. I did chores for my allowance, I got a job as soon as I turned 16 and I paid for my very first car.

I worked every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a pizza place for minimum wage while my friends went to football games and hung out. I worked two jobs my entire summer before freshman year of college so I could take freshman year to just get acclimated to school.

By spring semester of freshman year, I was applying for jobs and planning to work full time all summer along with taking some online classes.

Currently, I am in school full time and work 30+ hours a week, on top of writing for two publications.

But let me tell you, there is nothing that makes me more upset than kids whose parents hand them everything.

I know kids whose parents hand them money for concert tickets, brand name clothing, $1,000 monthly rent and the works. And honestly? It infuriates me.

The worst part about it? Half these kids complain about how difficult their lives are and how stressed they are. Try working an 8-hour shift from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. then having to get up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning to get ready for class, or going straight from class to work and trying to find time to get schoolwork done.

"Do your parents not care about you?"

I get that question all the time. They could pay for things for me, but they chose to teach me how to live like an adult and I truly appreciate it, even though it gets hard sometimes. They are always there to help me if I need it, but they do not spoil me.

I think everyone should have a job in college and have to pay for some things on their own. No, I'm not just talking about having a job for "pocket money."

Your parents pay for you to get a $70 manicure every 2 weeks and drop money in your account to spend at bars on the weekends? Good for you.

My parents pick up my phone bill and car insurance, but the rest is my responsibility. Rent, food, gas, clothes, school supplies, electricity, and anything else I want comes right out of my pocket.

I get that some parents just want their kids to focus on school, but honestly, without a job, I had way too much time freshman year. Why not use that time to work?

I know some people who have never worked a day in their life and it makes me wonder exactly what they expect out of the real world. Mommy and Daddy won't always be there to pay your Visa bill, honey.

You can't put "spoiled" on a job resume under previous experience.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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10 Ways To Plan A Fun College Weekend That DOESN'T Involve Alcohol

If you're desperate to take a break from the bar scene.

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As a college student, I can attest to the mass amounts of binge drinking that occurs on the weekends and sometimes weekdays of the semester. Every plan or activity seems to involve a fifth of vodka or a glass of wine. You can't tell me that a weekend of no alcohol doesn't sound like heaven on earth. If you can that's okay, we'll just entertain the idea.

Here are 10 things you can do to substitute a night out.

1. Grab a pizza and watch the sunset at a cool spot

Whether you go to school in the city, the country or near the beach, there is always a good spot to watch the sunset. Grab your favorite type of to-go food, a friend, a few blankets and have yourself a sunset.

2. Go on a food tour

Food tours are a great way to spend a Saturday night. These tours can usually be found in most cities and big towns. You sign up and pay online, meet up with the group and a guide brings you around to the best restaurants to try a sample of food from each place.

3. Take a trip

If the weather is nice, go to the beach. Take advantage of friends who have beach or even lake houses and spend the weekend relaxing. In the winter, do the same. Go skiing or snowboarding with some friends. There are so many winter activities, you surely won't run out of things to do.

4. Visit your local puppy store

This one is my favorite. Whether you're missing your own dog or you just love dogs, visit the pet store and have a day.

5. Have a "family" dinner or game night with all of your friends

It's so important to hang out with your friends when you're sober, so invite everyone over for dinner and games. Ask each person to make and bring a dish of something, it's fun to see what people will bring. Get out a deck of cards or an old favorite board game, there are endless game possibilities.

6. Rent a movie or go to the movie theater

Movie nights are the best, you're lying if you say they're not. Put on your favorite pajamas and fuzzy socks, and invite your friends over for a movie. If you're itching to get out of your apartment, go to the movie theater and pig out on candy.

7. Rent bikes or mopeds and ride them around

Over the summer, my friends and I spent a day riding rental bikes around Boston and it was the best Sunday I've ever had. You get to see the city so much better and a whole lot faster.

8. Go bowling

Bowling is so underrated. There is nothing better than getting together some of your most competitive friends and having a night at the bowling alley.

9. Take a yoga class 

Imagine how good you'll feel the morning after taking a yoga class... totally beats your usual hangover. If you want to be even more adventurous, try hot yoga. Hot yoga is HARD but you feel like a million bucks after a nice cold shower.

10. Spend a whole day shopping 

Let's be real, we all do this anyway.

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