25 Things Millennials Needed To Learn In 2017

25 Things Millennials Needed To Learn In 2017

Never underestimate the power of a simple smile.
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A common practice as the year is coming to an end is to reflect on all that has happened over the last 11.5 months.

A lot happened in 2017 that were learning moments — both good and bad. One of the things that I have noticed most this year is how much I have learned and have changed from what I have learned from other people.

I decided to reach out to 25 different people to create a list of things that they learned. Hopefully it will help you reflect on what you've learned in 2017, too.

1. People come and go. Keep those who you really love close to you and you'll have good friends forever.

2. We have to try our hardest to live in the moment and appreciate what we have all the time because we never know when it's going to change or be taken away.

3. Guidance counselors can be your best friend when applying to college.

4. Do what works best for you and don't care what others are expecting of you. Staying clear of their thoughts only makes you happier in the long-run and keeps you focused on the things that you want to accomplish in your life.

5. I’ve learned how important smiles and saying "hello" are.

6. Sometimes it’s OK to be a little “selfish” and to take care of yourself before you help and take care of others. Oftentimes, I have a problem with donating a lot of my time to helping others, which I love to do, but I forget to take care of myself. I’ve learned that it’s OK to make yourself a priority sometimes and be a little “selfish” by saying no to tutoring a friend so that you can have lunch that day. It’s like on an airplane, you have to help yourself before you can really help others and make a difference.

7. You have to be gentle with yourself. It's easy to get caught up with "I could've done this better" or "I should have done that", but at the end of the day, you're doing the best that you can and you should be proud of yourself for that.

8. Everyone in college is looking to make friends and are just as nervous as you are. As dumb as it sounds, if you be yourself, you’ll find others that will appreciate who you are.

9. If you feel like you are biting off more than you can chew, you probably are. Don't overwhelm yourself/overextend yourself. Find one or two clubs that you like and join them. You will be busy with your schoolwork.

10. I like the saying, “It seems impossible until it’s done.” I’ve learned that many things in college, especially nursing school, seem impossible to complete and accomplish, but somehow you just push through, work hard and get it done. Then you look back and think, “Remember when I thought I couldn’t do that?” You did do it, though. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything.



11. It is important to stand up for what you believe in.

12. Constantly push yourself to try new things and break your boundaries. You may find new interests, meet new people and make some of the best memories possible.

13. Surround yourself with good friends that will always be there for you no matter what.

14. The importance of focusing more on myself and taking some "me" time. It's important to step back from our crazy schedules to watch Netflix for a half hour or take a nap. It really relaxes you and keeps you focused to continue with homework.

15. Forgiveness

16. Relying on, and opening up, to other people feels good and makes life better.

17. I learned not only about myself, but also about other people. We are all more alike than we think and we all deserve to feel loved and appreciated.

18. Putting yourself first sometimes is not a selfish thing to do.

19. Being different is not a bad thing, so it’s best to follow your heart in everything that you do.

20. It’s important to make connections; with a person you’ve seen in passing at Happy Hour, with a professor who said something that peaked your interest in office hours or with a staff member who makes really good banana bread in the dining hall. I’ve learned to take advantage of the time to learn the stories of as many people as I can. Through their stories, I learn more about myself.

21. The most important thing that I learned was to be yourself. Coming into college, I was really nervous about making friends and thought that I couldn't do certain things that I liked doing in high school (like Campus Ministry). However, because I did them and was myself, I met the nicest people and friends that I know I'll have for the rest of my life.

22. I learned how to be more independent and to be open to meeting a lot of people.

23. The past year has taught me that it’s OK when life doesn’t go according to the plan that you may have for yourself. Looking back over the past year, the lesson was a consistent theme. My first job (that I was NOT excited about) led me to my current job, which is a dream. My living situation will change in a matter of months because I had a great friend recently move to my city. Also, grad school? I’m about to graduate in May! So everything does happen for a reason. It’s OK when the plan doesn’t go accordingly.

24. Take advantages of the classes at the RecPlex.

25. Everything happens for a reason. As much as that reason might stink, more often than not, there is something that we can learn from it and use to grow and to better understand ourselves.


Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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The Struggle of Taking Classes During the Summer

It can put a bit of a damper on summer fun

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To everyone reading: I hope you're having a nice, relaxing summer. Even if you're working I hope you can get a few days off to hang out with friends, go to the beach, and have some nice downtime. Not me. I am currently in the process of completing two four-week long summer classes. I'm taking them now to get ahead for next semester and to keep my overall schedule on track. It certainly isn't fun, but the reminder that it is only four weeks is what really keeps me going. If you are in the same boat as me, you'll relate to this list like no one else can; if you're not taking summer classes, don't let this list scare you, but use it to mentally prepare yourself for any you may have in the future.

1. Studying and homework

The homework isn't too bad with some summer classes just because you don't have time for a lot of intense projects. Still, since the class is so short you have to do some kind of homework pretty much every day. Make a schedule and spread it out so you don't get too behind.

2. Actually going to class

I am in two classes. One meets in person every day from 10 am to 11:45 am. The other is online. Let me be the first to say that getting up for class during the normal semesters is hard enough, but knowing my little brother gets to sleep in while I have to wake up early and go class is a real motivation suppressant.

I will say, though, it's kind of nice being on campus when it's basically empty.

3. No going out...

You'll probably be a little down because you might not be able to really go out at all during the time you're in class. For me, I go to lecture every morning, come home and do homework for that class, then do homework for my online class. I have some free time on the weekends, but I try to use those lecture-free days to study or work on papers.

4. But being super busy

Even though you might not be able to go out like a summer off, you'll be keeping yourself busy with all that super fun homework I mentioned.

5. Stress

Yes, summer classes can be a little stressful and it's pretty much all thanks to how fast-paced they are. Just do what I do: make a homework and project schedule as soon as you can and remind yourself how short it is.

Summer classes are not the worst thing in the world, and if you choose to take one at some point it won't be absolutely horrible. The nice thing about them is it's like ripping off a Band-Aid; it may be a little painful and annoying, but it's over so fast you don't suffer. Pick your class and professor wisely and get down to business; taking the class means you're one step closer to graduation!

So, to anyone else taking a summer class: good luck and you got this!

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