Summer always sounds fun; no homework, no classes, not a lot of real life responsibilities. Sometimes just because the season is advertised as carefree doesn't mean yours will be. The Summer of 2016 was arguably one of the hardest summers of my life. Through hard times and heartaches I learned and I'm so grateful for the lessons.
1. APPLY SUNSCREEN
Anyone that knows me knows I am very very very pale. My 'tan' is what most people look like when they are sick and start to lose the color in their face. My parents (and teachers when I lived in Australia) always taught and reminded me of the importance of putting on sunscreen, especially for someone with my complexion.
Sometimes I listened and sometimes I didn't. I wanted so badly to tan like my mother and an older brother with their beautiful olive skin, not freckle like my very Irish father. It wasn't until I was face down on an examining table in my doctor's office doing a biopsy on 'something' on my back that I realized I should have taken care of myself better. Luckily it came back negative but the lesson still rings true: apply sunscreen often and well
2. Actions really do speak louder than words
Someone can say all the right things to you. It can feel like they are reading your mind their words match up so well with your wants and needs. But if their actions speak the opposite, listen to their actions because that is more than likely the truth.
3. Who you spend your time with will change
I changed after my first year of college and I think it is because of the people that have become so important to me from school. I got home and my town seemed small — I felt like I didn't have a lot in common with the people I went to high school with — even some of my closest friends. And that's okay. It's okay to drift apart from who you once were, especially if that person is someone you didn't want to be or someone that was unhappy.
4. Bus trips are worth the destination
I live in New York and the two girls who are always at my side at St. Lawrence live in Massachusetts. After a month of not seeing each other (which we decided was too long), I booked a bus ticket to Mass to go see them. As I was booking the tickets all the reviews of us company were negative and I began dreading the 14 hours I was going to have to be traveling. As soon as I hopped off the bus and into Katie's Subaru I knew the weekend I had ahead was well worth that time.
5. Always putting others needs first shows them that you come second
I like to think I am a giving person — maybe almost to a fault. When someone becomes important to me — I am very quick to start putting them first in everything. While sometimes it is good to put others needs before yourself and make sacrifices for your relationships, you can't lose yourself completely in a person allowing yourself to be put in such a vulnerable position that it is impossible for you not to get hurt.