Advantages of Being Taken Advantage Of

Advantages of Being Taken Advantage Of

I have learned that I want someone to be my friend with nothing in return.

As a person who is quick to help or listen, I am often taken advantage of. I use to be idenial to it, but a good friend of mine quickly brought the issue to my attention. Throughout high school, people used me for my good reputation, the things I owned, the people I knew, basically anything that they knew I would easily say yes to. I was a push over. I decided that college would not be the same because it was draining for people to not genuinely care for me but rather care for what I could do to benefit them. Last year, I did not open out of my shell in college because I was scared of going back to my old ways. I really only had one real friend while at school and that was my roommate. She did not use me for what I had or what I would do. She simply was my friend just because. Life took her on a journey and she no longer attends school with me, so I was filled with fear as a new beginning was on its way. This year I quickly jumped into friendships, and I decided to take on much more than I can handle but that is normal for me. However, as I chatted with my family and spoke out loud about the things I do for my friends I began to hurt inside because I am quickly approaching the same path I promised myself to never go on. In high school, most of my friends do not realize that they were even doing it, but it happened. I quickly listened as they rushed into my room with tears in their eyes and shaky voices. I jumped to the opportunity to listen to them, and offer advice when they needed it. If they needed me to go to the store to get them something, I would go with no questions asked. If they needed help in a situation, I would offer the best. Sounds like we had a good friendship going, right? Sadly that is not the case. I was being used as a self confidence booster. They wanted me to encourage them, but no matter how many times I told them how beautiful they were, they would not truly believe it. I was being used as a the vent sesh buddy, but when it was my turn to go they were not fully there. If it did not affect them, then they wanted nothing to do with it. If I asked for a favor, they hesitated. I gave countless rides to people who I had barely talked to, but they knew if they asked me I would happily give them a ride. At work, if someone needed their shift covered they would ask me because they knew I would not say no. Situation after situation I continued to give in. I could not say no. This article was going to be about the disadvantages of being taken advantage of because I know that all to well, but instead I want to talk about five things I have learned from being used as a person.

1. I need to draw a fine line from the beginning.

As being a "too" nice person, I have been ran over too many times. I let people walk all over me, and I do not want to confront them of it because then they might be upset. Although, I have learned that for my personal health I have to draw a fine line from the beginning of the relationship or else I will drown myself in worry and drain myself out. If I have a friend who asks me for a ride and it becomes a regular thing, I need to decide the distance I am willing to take them and communicate that to them. I cannot be a coward and hide behind my acts. I have learned that drawing that line lets the person know that you are not as much of a push over as they thought, and they will kind of back off.

2. I felt uncared for and overlooked.

I have come off as content in many situations where I desired for things to be done. When you are busy listening to people tell you about their own problems and complaints, you tend to get put on the back burner. For a long time, I thought that my friends did not care about me or what I was going through. Often they would never think to ask me what I was dealing with, and if by chance I brought it up myself then they would be on their phone or not paying attention. I felt like I was overlooked and that people just did not realize what all I actually did for them. Now do not get me wrong, I do not want praise and gratification for what I did. I just felt like people did not see me more than the person who was "nice" and had it all together. During my reflection, I realized that I am cared for and looked at by the people who genuine wanted a friendship with me.

3. I want someone to love me for me and not what I have to offer.

So this is the most important one. After countless reflections, I have learned that I want someone to be my friend because they want to regardless of how I can benefit them. Of course they will be my friend because of my personality, but I do not want them to be my friend because I will always make them smile. I won't. I am a person, and I will fail time and time again. I want someone who wants a friendship or relationship with me to go in knowing that I will fail them. I can offer all kinds of things to a person, but some days will just be absolutely horrific and I will not be able to put a smile on your face or give you wise advice and I want you to understand that. I do not think we should fall in love with someone with the thoughts of how that person will benefit me. That is an extremely selfish view of love. Love is selfless. You sacrifice what you want and need in order to pursue the best interest of your partner. People are constantly changing, so who you might fall in love with today, might be a different person tomorrow. You may date an eighteen year old rock climber, but then marry a twenty year old teacher. Through the journey of being taken advantage of from my very friends, I have learned that I only want ot pursue friendships with people who love me for me and not what I have to offer or benefit them.

This article has no intentions of scolding anyone or throwing shade. I simply desired to share what this experience has taught me. I no longer am taken advantage of to the scale I was throughout high school. I do not mind doing things for people, and quite frankly I love serving those around me. Wether that means lending a helping hand, a listening ear, or being present in tough situations I enjoy being someone people can come to. It only becomes a problem when people use me for their own benefit with nothing in return. Our world is a circle, so it is neverending. The cycle in continuous, and we have to be willing to give back to what we give.

Cover Image Credit: Adrianna Roberts

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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