19 Tough Lessons I Learned in 2019
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19 Tough Lessons I Learned in 2019

Shook to the core but moving forward.

19 Tough Lessons I Learned in 2019

I've never been a fan of New Years Resolutions. Everyone is so quick to forget about the previous year and use the new year as motivation to suddenly change their lives. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to set goals, but I also think it's important to reflect on the year.

It's crazy that in a few days we will be entering a new decade. There are so many incredible moments and experiences yet to come.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting on this past year. There have been so many experiences and lessons I've learned that have helped shaped me into who I am now. While this year has been difficult for me in many ways, it has also taught me meaningful lessons that I will carry with me into 2020.

These are the 19 Lessons I learned in 2019.

1. Go with the flow


I'm very much Type A. I like to have a plan and the thought of not knowing everything makes me feel on edge. However, after going through a year of college, I realized that there is still so much I don't know. I'm still unsure about what exactly I want, and for the first time in my life, I realized I don't have a plan.

The way I see it, I can either obsess and stress over everything I can't control or I can just go with it. Being angry about something that doesn't go my way won't help me instead it only hinders me further.

Next year I'm not going to get upset when something shakes up my plans, instead I will take it as a learning experience and take time to reflect on what I actually want.

2. It's okay to ask for help


This year I struggled in school like never before. Suddenly classes became so much harder and I constantly felt behind everyone else. Instead of asking for help, I kept all my stress contained and school continued to become even more difficult.

Eventually, I decided that I couldn't do this all alone so, I began to lean on my friends for support and began taking advantage of more opportunities like going to office hours and joining study groups.

It was such a relief to know that there were opportunities to get help, and I couldn't understand why I waited so long to get help.

Remember that you don't have to do it all alone and there are so many support networks out there to help you succeed.

3. Not everyone is going to like you


For as long as I can remember, I have always been a people-pleaser. I would bend-over-backward to gain approval from everyone I knew. I was exhausted and feeling empty from always giving my energy to people who didn't care about me.

I thought there was something wrong with me, but then I came to realize that I could move mountains and I still wouldn't be enough for some people.

If someone doesn't like you, that's on them and it has nothing to do with your worth. So focus on people who are worth your time because there are so many people who care about you.

4. You gotta make time for yourself


As a college student, my life is pretty crazy and face-paced. I feel like I'm always running around and I never have time to catch my breath with endless deadlines throughout the semester.

I was constantly exhausted and felt like I was in an never-ending cycle of studying and sleeping. I decided that I needed to do something for myself every day in order to have the motivation to do all of my schoolwork.

Making time for self-care helped me to focus and have more energy for my schoolwork. I started to get back into things I once enjoyed before focusing on school like reading, writing and music.

5. Make time for fitness and health too


It's amazing what a good diet and exercise can do for you. This year I started to cook regularly and rely on exercise as a stress-reliever.

Nothing has ever made me feel as capable and empowered as exercise. Next year I want to continue to make health and fitness an integrated part of my life.

6. Don't ignore the red flags


This has been an especially tough lesson for me to learn. I was always coming up with excuses why people who I was interested in were acting a certain way. For a while, I stopped noticing red flags and I accepted the way I was being treated.

I had to be reminded of my worth several times and eventually, I found the strength to stop putting up with the BS and see my value.

This year I will not chase people who don't care about me and I will know my worth whenever I consider settling.

7. You gotta love yourself before you love anyone else


I have struggled with self-love for most of my life. I thought going to college would instantly boost my confidence but instead, I ended up throwing myself at whoever gave me attention and sought the approval of everyone.

Most of my relationships failed and I was left wondering what was wrong with me. The only thing wrong with me is that I didn't love myself. Because of that, I settled for any relationship instead of holding out for someone who would treat me right.

In 2020, I will work on loving myself before I seek any relationships out. After all, how can I be happy with someone if I'm not happy with myself?

8. Calling a friend or loved one can instantly improve your day


When I was struggling during the school year, I found most of my comfort through my family and hometown friends. Having a support network gave me the motivation and bliss I needed during my rough days.

In the future, I will continue to lean on my family and friends for guidance and support.

9. If something is right for you, you'll know


I wasted so much time this year trying to figure out if people I was interested in liked me back. It was exhausting and I was tired of playing games.

Over time I realized that with there shouldn't be games with the right the person. If a relationship is toxic, it will feel confusing and unsettling. However, if someone is right for you, the relationship will be comforting and it will just make sense.

10. Do something that scares you a little


This summer I went cliff-jumping for the first time. It was scary but exhilarating, and at that moment I had never felt more alive. While I don't plan on going cliff-jumping whenever I need to fuel my sense of adventure, I do plan to step out of my comfort zone this year.

11. In your dark times, remember who was there


I never realized until this year how many fake friends I had surrounded myself with. It wasn't until I went through some tough times during the year that I noticed who was there for me and who disappeared from my life.

I gained an appreciation for my true friends and discovered who I could actually count on.

While it was hard, I am grateful I went through my rough patches because It revealed who my people are.

12. Don't lose your sanity trying to be perfect


This past year I tried to be perfect in everything I did, and I nearly lost my sanity. I defined my worth by how high I scored on a test or how fast I ran a mile. I was so unhappy and I felt so unworthy.

Suddenly, instead of feeling defeated, I started accepting that I'm human and I'm nowhere near perfect.

While I may not always do good in a class or be liked by everyone, I know that I am still worthy and that my worst critic in life is me.

13. Perspective is everything


Everything we experience in life can either be a road-block or an opportunity. It all goes back to perspective. Whenever something doesn't go according to plan, we always seem to jump to the worst-case scenario instead of considering it as a new opportunity.

When I struggled last semester in my classes, I thought I was a failure. I never considered that maybe struggling was giving me an opportunity to consider what I really wanted to do with my life.

14. Don't waste your time


Looking back on this past year, I realize that I wasted so much time on people who didn't care about me and things I really didn't enjoy.

Life is too short to waste on people who don't care about you and experiences that don't serve you. Surround yourself with people who love you and do things you love.

You only get one life to live, so live it to the fullest!

15. You'll never know unless you ask


Something that I have come to realize recently is that you cannot make assumptions. If you really want to know something, you just need to ask.

So many friendships and relationships end in disaster because people are afraid to communicate and instead create their own assumptions about the other person.

This year I will not obsess and make assumptions over what I don't know and ask instead.

16. It's okay to not have everything figured out


I used to think that by this point in my life I should have everything figured out. When I was applying to colleges in high school, I was convinced that I was going to be a doctor. I knew what I wanted.

However, not everything went according to plan. I struggled in school and was more uncertain than ever about what I actually wanted to do with my life.

I had to remind myself that I'm only 20 and my life is just beginning. I'm going to make mistakes and and go through rough patches, but eventually I will find my way.

17. If you don't love what you're doing then maybe it's not for you


For the longest time, I was convinced that I needed to have a career in STEM in order to be successful. I took so many classes including chemistry and biology, but I never felt happy in them. I was prioritizing my idea of success over happiness.

Finally I asked myself, why am I doing this? I was convinced for so long that I needed to have a career in science because it was expected of me.

I want the driving force of my life to be happiness not just success.

18. Sometimes you have to let people go in order to move forward


I have always had a hard time letting people go. But, holding on to people who don't help me move forward has only been draining.

It's hard to let go of people you care about, even if they aren't what's best for you. However, it is hard to move forward and grow as a person if you are still holding on to people who are keeping you in the past.

This year, I need to prioritize what is best for me and only keep people in my life who encourage me and help me to become a better version of myself.

19. Not everything will go the way you want, but it will work out.


Life happens and things don't always go according to plan. You can either be upset when things don't go your way or you can use the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Everything happens for a reason so stop stressing and learn to let go. In the end things work out, and sometimes life will surprise you and things turn out even better than you ever imagined.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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