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 The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority

Sorority girls seem to be getting more and more backlash, but why?
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To The Girl Who Mocked My Sorority,

I buy my friends? Wow. First time I’ve ever gotten that, good one.

Do you feel better now? Was it all you hoped for?

I doubt it.

I’m not the “typical” sorority girl but I’ve also come to the realization that there isn’t a “typical” sorority girl. We are all different and believe it or not we are all just like you. The letters I wear on my chest don’t make me stupid. They don’t make me a bitch. They don’t make me spoiled. They don’t make me an alcoholic. They don’t make me fake. They don’t make me a slut. And they sure as heck don’t make me any better than you.

What my letters made me is better than I was before.

Some sorority stereotypes are inevitable. Yes, I love my Big. Yes, my Littles are my life. I’m guilty of being a master with a glue gun, and I’ll admit that new letter shirts make me giddy as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.

But here’s what you don’t know — before I joined my sorority I couldn’t speak to a group of five people without turning red. Now I help run meetings in front of 45 women. Before, I would never have had the courage to go up to a group of girls and sit with them for lunch. Now I’m actually invited (crazy, I know). Before, I struggled with my grades. Now I have sisters in my major offering help. Before, my resume was empty. Now, it's full of leadership positions and community service hours. Before, I didn’t quite feel accepted. Now, I’m welcomed lovingly into an extremely diverse group. What’s so bad about all of that?

I get it. Sororities aren’t for everyone. I’ll even go as far to say that some of us sorority girls can be a little much. But what’s the point of dissing something that you don’t understand? Next time you’re about to make a cruel stereotypical joke, think about how you would feel if someone did that to you. Instead of making fun of sorority girls, sit down with one and find out why it’s so important to her.

Sincerely,

A Proud Sorority Girl

Cover Image Credit: Megan Jones

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There's A Difference Between Healthy And Unhealthy Competition

Competition quickly goes from being healthy to unhealthy when it begins to spark feelings of jealousy and inadequacy.

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A little competition is never a hurtful thing. Healthy competition often serves as a motivator and challenges us to reach our goals. However, there is a fine line between healthy and unhealthy competition. Competition quickly goes from being healthy to unhealthy when it begins to spark feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. It is important to take a step back and analyze the competition we feel in our daily lives to ensure it is coming from a healthy source rather than something that makes us feel less about ourselves.

I think that the healthiest form of competition is one in which we compete against ourselves. When we challenge ourselves to become a better person every day and set daily goals to achieve our dreams, we are pursuing a healthy form of competition. This form of competition helps us to continuously grow and challenges us to find creative solutions to the problems we face. This competition is healthy because it serves as a motivating factor. We are not focusing on comparing ourselves to the successes of others, and instead, are comparing the person we were yesterday to the one we want to become today.

Competition can easily become unhealthy when we begin comparing ourselves to others. We all have different natural talents and abilities. It is important to recognize that we can't be good at everything. Some people are better writers, while others are more talented in playing instruments. However, this doesn't mean that we don't "measure up." We should never compare our natural talents to those of other people. We must recognize our abilities and celebrate the areas in which we are the most skilled.

Unhealthy competition often leads to a scarcity mindset. When we start comparing ourselves to others, we believe that there is limited success in the world to go around. This scarcity mindset stems from a feeling of fear and inadequacy. It makes us feel that since someone else is experiencing success, our ability to be successful is diminished. There is plenty of success and achievement to go around for everyone to experience. The successes of others do not limit our individual success.

Competition is also unhealthy when it is motivated by seeking attention and validation from outside sources. Many of us constantly compete with others so that our successes can be validated and recognized by outside sources. This mindset impacts our self-worth and serves to lessen our ability to perform and reach our goals. Seeking validation from outside sources is a losing game. Your efforts do not have to be validated by others for you to know that you are worthy.

In my opinion, the unhealthiest form of competition is when it is used to diminish others. Competition is often used to sabotage the successes of others in hopes that we can advance our own personal success. This form of competition leads to unhealthy relationships and an overall unhealthy environment.

It is crucial that we recognize the difference between unhealthy and healthy competition. When used to motivate ourselves and celebrate others, competition can be a healthy thing in our lives. We must learn to use competition in a healthy manner to pursue our goals and help others achieve theirs.

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