I know 2016 has not been the nicest to all of us--let's be honest. There's been so many horrible things that have happened, whether personally or politically--whatever. However, it is important to remember the memories 2016 has given you and try to figure out why these certain events happen. Maybe there is a reason, a truth, why life has done these things to you.
2016 has been an emotional roller coaster for me (and probably a lot of other people too). I have laughed and cried so many times, just like every year has given me.
However, this is what I have learned from 2016:
1.) Push yourself.
I have pushed myself to be a better me. A healthier, more academically inclined, open-minded person. I have learned to put myself out there and people who do not like it, can shove it. I have learned the importance of one's health, both physically and mentally. Get the help you need. Ask a friend or a doctor to help; that's what they are there for. I have learned to push myself to my limits when it comes to academics. Being in college, these classes we are taking can be extremely tough, but it is important to concentrate in the library, know when you shouldn't go out, and get enough sleep. Pushing yourself to your limits can be challenging and mentally exhausting, but the outcomes are worth it in the end. Just know that you can do it and having a support system is a major key to success.
2.) Take risks.
Taking risks can be very scary, but most of the time, you come out of your risky decision, glad that you did it. Whether that be changing your major, studying abroad, letting someone in, or taking on two jobs, or six classes. Change is scary, there is no doubt about that, but there is a reason change is scary. It is because routine is so easy, so calming. Although putting yourself out will make you feel vulnerable, it allows you to take on new experiences and new capabilities will emerge; capabilities you did not think were possible or could even think about.
People do not think it is possible to balance so many obligations and events into a schedule, but that's just an excuse, that's bullshit (in most cases). I have seen people take six classes, join clubs, become officers, have multiple jobs, and still are able to have fun with their friends and family. We all can't be superman, but I challenge you next year to push yourself to manage your time and see what you can really fit into your schedule when you have the chance. Get the other job, you have time. Go to that kickboxing class you've been dying to go to. You have time. Apply for a position that you're not sure of but you know you can fit into your schedule. You have time. Join a club to get more involved. You DO have time for it. Take on more obligations, little by little.
4.) Enjoy and take in the people, the memories, and the atmosphere around you.
As sad as it is, the people and atmosphere around you can be gone at any second, so take in everything around you. One day you'll look back at those "small moments" and realize that they were bigger than you would ever think or believe.
5.) Forgive, but Don't Forget.
I'm a very forgiving person, which means many people who have treated me poorly are still in my life, or I'm at least kind towards them. Although being the always forgiving person can be frowned upon sometimes, I think the key is to not forget their wrongdoings. From that time on, a little distance with a little bit of time will show them that their trust and relationship with you will never be the same.
6.) Most importantly, I have learned to love and respect myself.
I cannot stress this enough. I have been the kind of person to be walked-all-over, and drown myself with all the insecurities that are in my head. This year, I realized how I deserve to be treated; by myself and by others. This has been the biggest triumph for me and know now that people who bring you down, should not be a part of your life and your insecurities are all in your head. Those insecurities could be turned into strengths or be seen as strengths instead of making you upset. You deserve the best and not to settle for anything less. It is hard to realize what exactly is the best, but once you've found it--know that you deserve it.
2016, you've had your ups and downs, but I can't wait to see what opportunities and lessons that 2017 has to bring me.