I Find Joy Living In The Moment, Not Worrying About The Future

I Find Joy Living In The Moment, Not Worrying About The Future

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

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Looking back on my first semester of college, I can definitely say that I am not the same person as I was four months ago. I've gained responsibility, learned to make it to class on time, and made some memories to last forever. It hasn't been an easy ride, but I would not trade college for the world. In addition to being a busy student, I've also had to learn to slow down. While I want to tackle as many tasks as I can, sometimes we just have to say no.

As a planner, it can be hard for me to stop worrying about what's next on my agenda. Here are some lessons I learned this past semester to find happiness living in the present moment:

1. Make time for yourself

Juggling classes, work, extracurriculars, and social life can be quite difficult if you have a lot on your plate. While I do not regret being involved on campus, I now understand the importance of making time for myself. The benefits of being mindful and present in the current moment has improved my mental health and overall well being. Sitting down every afternoon to have some "me" time has strengthened my relationships and reduced stress. Though I often get caught up in the everyday tasks of life, taking just half an hour to breathe and remind myself of life's blessings has allowed me to slow down. College can be about going out and networking, but it also means taking time to focus on yourself and the goals you have for your future.

2. Set goals and stick to them

Without setting goals, we all lose focus and sense of direction. Goal setting not only allows for us to take control of life's direction but also provides a benchmark for determining success. To make sure that a goal is motivating, make sure that it is important and valuable. An easy way for me to stay accountable with my goals is by writing them down on a sticky note as a visual reminder. There is no excuse for forgetting about a goal when I have it right in front of me. In addition to setting short and long-term goals, it can also be effective to write out an action plan. Write out individual steps to making progress, and you'll find joy while seeking improvement.

3. Learn from your mistakes

Admitting you're at fault and being accountable for wrong actions are two separate things. In order to learn from one's mistakes, we must do more than just say sorry and move on from the problem at hand. Instead, owning up to our wrongdoings and finding a solution to fix the problem shows responsibility and great respect. Though failure is inevitable, it is imperative for us to learn from our mistakes. I wouldn't be half the person I am today without falling on my face and getting back up to try again. Making mistakes allows us to live and learn, pushing ourselves to go out and change the world.

4. Find a support group

The relationships we have in our lives help to form who we are as a person. Surrounding myself with supportive friends this past semester has helped me learn who I want to be as a friend, student, sister, and community member. Supportive friends will be there through thick and thin no matter the situation. While we may not agree on every situation or opinion, it is important to have healthy friendships rooted in loyalty and trustworthiness. I find joy knowing that even when times get tough, true friends will stand by your side and be there until the very end. Find a support group who will listen to your problems and show that they care for you without any judgment.

5. Focus on the present moment

Living in the moment seems so simple, yet we often forget about where our time goes. Most people can say they are guilty of spending too much time on the phone or aimlessly planning for the future. Being present in the current moment enables us to be joyful gathering with friends and family. In order to do so, we must remove distractions and fully appreciate the moments we have to be with loved ones. One of my goals this holiday season is to stop worrying about the future and enjoy the time I have to be with my brothers and sisters. If we can only live one moment at a time, it might as well be the present one.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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3 Steps To Beating Writer's Block

How to get words on the page already!

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I must admit that I am the worst when it comes to writer's block. I will go for a long time without writing because I just have no clue what to write about. Especially since I have a writing competition coming up, I'd like to keep in mind some tips in case I get stuck on what to write about.

Writing is a wonderful experience, and it stinks when that experience gets mundane or stuck in your head. Hopefully, these tips will help you out:

1. Step away.

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The best thing to do when you're stuck with anything is to step away. You're not giving up or procrastinating; you're resetting your brain so it can function properly. Don't worry about the deadline or whatever; make the time to step away. Once you step away and forget about it for a minute or two, you'll be refreshed and ready to face whatever you need to do. This could be a good time to consume instead of create. Go watch a movie or read a book. Taking in that information will end up helping you with your own writing project.

2. Write whatever.

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It doesn't have to be what you're planning on writing. It doesn't have to be a rough draft. You could literally sit down and write a grocery list. Just write! Write everything down. Don't worry if it stinks, don't stop to edit or think about what to write next, and don't ever let that pen leave the paper. You need to get you're writing muscles going after that break you took. Just let anything you have in your head flow through your hand onto the page.

3. Make notes.

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Tip #2 is the general writing practice. This is a little more refined. Once you've dumped everything out onto the piece of paper in front of you, it's time to look at what you've got. Again, you may not have written about your topic, so the stuff you mentally threw up onto the page can't really help you much. That's fine! Just make notes of what you'd like to accomplish through this writing. What's the end goal? Are there any requirements? What are some things you'd like to show up in this work? You can even use the art you consumed to help you figure out some elements to incorporate into your work. What did you like/dislike about what you consumed? How did the story inspire you? Anything at all, make a note of it. From those notes, you can begin writing.

If you've made it to the third step and you still can't think of what to write, feel free to start from the beginning. Sometimes, it can take a lot to get your brain running in the right direction. That's okay! Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to do what you need to do. Writing can be tough, and coming up with an idea can oftentimes be the toughest part about it. Take your time. You'll think of something.

I hope that these tips were helpful. Good luck and happy writing!

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