Stay out of your comfort zone

Finding Comfort Alone

Take some time to hang with yourself.

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I've secretly been needing validation for a long time. Whether it was how I looked, how I presented or what I thought.

This year, I took the time out to take a break from it all. I like to look in the mirror and ask myself, "How do I feel?" Instead of wondering what the world feels about it. Sure, I would ask my friends and family their opinions, but mine matters the most.

When I hear about couples who spend every waking minute together, I wonder if they could be independent too? Of course, they love spending time together but what happens if they break up?

I hear people say, "I don't know what I would do without him." It's like they don't know their own identity since they are so heartbroken and everything their ex partner loved about them, they might hate now.

It's best to leave them be and just explore like alone for a while. You should travel alone, talk to your close friends but also take on hobbies and increase your skills. Be a confident person by finding time alone. Ask what you really want in life because the things I've wanted cannot be bought.

Sometimes it can be hard being alone when you've spent every minute of the day talking to your friend or lover but spend some time away from your phone and be brought back to reality. There's so much to do yet we have so little time.

I've always been excited to wait for a text on my phone when there's really no one to talk to. It's like finding a blank screen and you're up for disappointment. I'm so mad that I can't stop turning to my phone and I hate that I want to talk to people. But, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places.

Talking to people online is not a natural connection because it's hard to keep a conversation going. In person, it's easy to see if you actually like talking to the person.

Even though I enjoy talking to people, It's still hard to accept compliments because I don't even realize my own potential. I want to walk in the mornings and think about my life and the interactions I've had. I want to think about my career and what I can do. I want to see what kind of person I am without my friends or family telling me who they think I am.

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.

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College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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Keeping A Journal Handy Keeps Me From Forgetting My Eventful Past

Also, it's genuinely the best way to get out pent up emotions.

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Time is flying by so quickly, and it's so difficult to keep track of every little event I'm a part of. At the same time, though, I find myself sitting at my desk wide awake every Saturday at midnight just writing in a journal about the past week.

Who did I see? How did I feel? What did I accomplish?

Even the most minute of details becomes the most important topic in the world, and I find myself enthralled in memories now immortalized in a notebook. The moment in which I'm writing as much as I can remember is peaceful, and I think that I am most at home when it's the middle of the night and no one can disturb the flow of thoughts.

After all, the purpose of having a journal is to expose one's future to reminders of the past otherwise unforgotten. One of my essays from eighth grade is wedged between two pages in an older book of mine, and when I stumbled upon it just a few weeks ago, I spent the next hour dissecting every little feeling I could remember from the time when I wrote that piece.

There's something amazing about having a journal to presently write in and eventually look back upon with open ears and listening eyes. There's something magical about being able to recount the tirade of feelings I experienced three, four years ago even now. It's as if I've envisioned a pathway to walk down (some would call "Memory Lane"), and I can find myself walking down that road at any given time.

In freshman year, I would spend an hour every day of the weekend just writing. About anything and everything that came to mind, only as long as the pen I was holding wasn't lifting itself off the paper. The amount of vivid description I put into every nit-picky part of my day was astonishing to read. I didn't want to forget anything, and I thought I could avoid forgetting by telling my future self what I knew.

Recollecting plain information, whether it be facts and figures or charts and data, can seem mundane, something one is unable to relate to and therefore "care" about, but recollecting emotions is putting on those same shoes one wore in a previous time and revisiting a slew of old memories.

It's embarrassing sometimes to find little mistakes in my writing or little places in which I attempted to sound profound but ended up sounding paranoid, but that characterized who I was as a writer back then (and maybe even today). Because I have journals full of pages and pages of sketches and words and feelings, I know who I used to be. I can remember who I was two years ago because of a journal entry from January 2017.

There was a day in sophomore year when I realized that high school was meant to be stressful, not a carefree adventure. I wrote down everything I felt that day, down to the sound of the bell ending the school day. And when I sat there a month ago and reread everything I had poured out, I laughed to myself, thinking that this rude awakening I had been ranting about was just the beginning.

It's comical and heartbreaking at the same time to sit through a journal written so long ago, but I think it's all worth it. The weeks are counting down as this school year is coming to a close, and while I spend all my time ranting aloud about how stressed I am, my true emotions only show up on the pages of my journal. Safe to say, I feel more at peace knowing that there's someone in the future going through this journey with me.

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