Each school year, I'm faced with new obstacles in every aspect of my life- socially, academically, and mentally. Each of these challenges presents the opportunity to take the easy way out or to confront these hurdles and become stronger by doing so. New challenges can be terrifying- but the upside is that they bring you newfound knowledge and wisdom.
Keep reading for lessons I've learned from overcoming (or trying to) the obstacles that life has brought me this past school year.
1. Confrontation is key.
This is probably one of the biggest lessons I've learned this year, and a skill I've become more comfortable with. I've learned the hard way that nothing good comes from hiding emotions and avoiding conflicts at all costs. It takes a great deal of courage to confront your emotions and people you're upset with, but you'll be much stronger for doing so. Stop imprisoning your emotions and inflicting unnecessary stress upon yourself, confront your problems and move on!
2. You're going to get hurt, but that's life.
Many people allow their fear of getting hurt to hold them back from starting new relationships, applying for their dream job, or any challenge in general. There's nothing more terrifying than being disappointed or having your heart broken, but you don't know how things will turn out until you give it a shot. It takes much more strength and courage to put yourself out there and risk being hurt, but there is much to gain from being vulnerable! (If you haven't heard.)
3. It's just as easy to be confident as it is to not be.
Confidence is a trait which I have personally struggled to maintain. I've learned to recognize that people who believe in themselves, make you want to believe in them as well. Confidence is an interesting trait in that way. It affects the way you carry yourself, the way others perceive you, and the way you perceive yourself. There's no reason to not believe in yourself, so why not take the leap and be confident?
4. Everyone is in your life for a reason.
Failed relationships and friendships can leave you wondering, "why did I have to go through this?" I have come to believe that every person in your life, whether temporary or long-term, is there for a reason. When reflecting on past relationships, I recognize that I've learned or gained something from each person. Even the worst people, who cause teary eyes and excessive ice-cream, are in your life to teach you a lesson and to strengthen your mindset.
5. Don't let your personal life affect your academic success.
While it can be difficult to study for an exam while stressing over personal issues, you should not let this affect your grades. There's nothing worse than doing school work while your personal life is in flames, but it's important to set aside these issues and to prioritize your academic success. From someone who learned this the hard way, you'll thank yourself later for wiping your tears and going to that 9 am class.
6. Don't fear being alone- it's best thing that could happen to you.
If you're faced with the choice to stay in a relationship that isn't right for you, or to be alone, you should always choose being alone. While this change can be difficult to adjust to, you'll be much happier without the stress of a relationship which you're unhappy in. There's nothing worse than staying with someone or jumping into a relationship, solely because you're afraid of being alone. The single life allows you to focus on your personal growth and to spend more time with friends- embrace this opportunity.
7. Recognize and appreciate those who genuinely care.
It's important to recognize the people in your life with pure intentions and concern for your well-being. These people are your support system and will enable your success. Returning this genuine concern for a friend or family member will display your appreciation for them and bring you closer. Not everyone has the best intentions for you, so it's important to acknowledge those who do and to show them your gratitude.
8. Enjoy the present, you'll miss this.
The smallest things in life are the ones you'll miss the most- days with no homework, late night talks with your best friend, a good meal, etc. While it's important to reflect on the past, it's just as important to enjoy the present moment. With extreme highs and lows filling my school year, I've learned to appreciate each laugh and smile you experience- because these moments will not last forever.
After the close of another school year, I take with me another set of lessons learned and memories to cherish. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to my family and close friends who have helped me overcome these obstacles and experience personal growth. I still have much to learn, but these eight lessons will accompany me throughout life- and hopefully you too.