How Being Grateful For What You Have and Who You Are Can Change Your Life

How Being Grateful For What You Have and Who You Are Can Change Your Life

It is Turkey time! But most importantly it is time to realize what we are grateful for and truly appreciate ourselves, the people around us, the roof over our heads and the full tummies we have during the holidays.

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Thanksgiving is not only a time to get hype about the mashed potatoes grandma makes or the turkey that you think about all year long but it really is about the time we take out of our hectic schedules to spend time with our families. No, I am not saying that food and football are not important in times like these but we should be thankful for the opportunity to have a turkey on the table and a TV screen to watch. Believe it or not, not everyone has it made! Here some tips on how I like to take the time to realize how grateful I am for EVERYTHING, yes, even myself.


1. Make a list of the things you like about yourself

Stop looking in the mirror and picking out the things that could be better! You are always going to believe there can be better, you could get everything you want and I promise you, you would still want to be "better". BE HAPPY WITH WHAT YOU SEE. Write down a list of things you love about your body, face, etc. FOCUS on those things. We are so lucky to have the eyesight to be able to see how beautiful we are and the beauty of the world. Remember that next time you look in the mirror, having the ability to see is a beautiful thing.

2. Take the time to "thank" your family

Honestly, we are college kids, who has the money to buy food and pay the cable bill?! Unless you are working your ass off, NO ONE (kudos to you if you make it happen). It is not even about saying the words "Thank you". It is about doing your part and helping in any way you can! It is so easy, ask your parents what you can do to help, you have no idea how your actions can be recognized as deserving in a much more meaningful way than any "Thanks mom and dad" could ever take you. Not to mention, your family has shaped you into the person you are today! Sure, we are all confused and lost on "who we want to be" but I swear to you no one molds you more than them no matter who you want to be or end up being, and that is a sacrifice that they make to make you better and it needs to be noticed and appreciated.

P.S. Don't ever forget about your perfect little furball. Our pets just want to make us happy and love us, that's it! Even in times when they may cause trouble, they still get us to cuddle with them at the end of the night. Show your pet some extra love this holiday.

3. Whatever your "thing" is

I get it, I don't know you or your situation, but I do know this. No matter what living situation each of us are in, there is always SOMETHING we turn to. Music, gaming, shows, books, sports; there is YOUR THING that you have and that you love and you spend a lot, if not all, your time with! Understand that without that, you would not be you and you would not have that thing to make you HAPPY. Appreciate that thing your into. Be thankful for it.

4. Your friends play a huge role in your life, treat them well

Let's get real, in our 20's our friends are our ENTIRE WORLD! Yes, family is so important but friends are our family and play a huge role in our lives and in learning in ways we want to start forming and creating our own family traditions in the future. BE GRATEFUL for those awesome pals! They have been with you through time when your family may not have been the best choice for support (we've all been there) and they will always have your back. Friends keep us sane and allow us to have special people to grow along with, in this life, it is so important to look to those friends for guidance and happiness because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE DOING. Show your friends how much they mean to you with just a simple I love you text! Get together with them over the holidays.

Realize....

Doing these things are just a few ways I like to stay grounded. Small steps like these can first, change your everyday perspective to a positive state, then your life will follow suit. Life is not out to get you, but it is not going to hand you gold and roses, you have to WORK for the things you desire! Being happy is a choice, make that choice every chance you get. Being grateful for even the smallest thing God has granted you is the first challenge you must take on before you can achieve happiness. Life is always going to challenge you and that's something to be grateful for because it wants to push you to be better! Go get it.


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Goodbye Freshman Year

I miss you already

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Flashback to mid-August, the most emotional week of my life when I anxiously packed my mom's car with all of my belongings. I carefully closed the trunk, thinking it would bust open the second we hit a pot hole or took too sharp of a turn. We began the 6-hour drive and I had no idea what I was venturing into. I texted my friends about how boring the car ride was, I posted a goodbye message to my house on social media, and I laid down in the backseat listening to the radio and signing along with my parents for the last time. I mean… not for the last last time but for the last time as a kid that actually lives at home.

Moving away from home, from my small little town, from everything I knew… it didn't scare me. I looked forward to it and I eagerly awaited the day I would start my own life since I began thinking about college in elementary school- even back then my dream schools were always out of state. Even back then, though I didn't know it at the time, I wanted to prove to myself and to the world that I could be independent.

It's funny when I think about it now because I am the most independently dependent person I've ever met. I mean, I moved over 400 miles away from everything I knew but I still call my mom whenever I get the sniffles even though I know what medicine to buy and to drink orange juice. I moved over 400 miles away and I still ask my roommate to go across the street to get food with me because I don't like waiting in line by myself. I moved over 400 miles away, but I still call my mom almost every day and talk for over an hour each time because I miss the sound of her voice. I moved over 400 miles away, but I still sleep with the stuffed animal I got when I was 2 because it smells like home. But even that is funny because I call college home. I call my dorm home, I call these new people home. But now I have to say goodbye to my freshman year, and I miss it already.

I didn't cry about moving until I went grocery shopping with my parents for my dorm, and I didn't stop crying until at least three days after that. I knew I could do it, but nonetheless I was terrified of failing. I was so scared that I was going to disappoint my mom, or any of my family really. I had worked so hard for so long to get here, but I didn't know what came after that. I made it, I got into college, I moved in… but now what?

Well

Now, I have some of the best people I ever could have imagined in my life. The friends I have made in the last nine months have truly changed my life. I have the best memories with these people; from football games to study parties with pizza at 3 am, from church to horror movie marathons, and from holiday celebrations with crafts in my room to going on last minute adventures to places we've never been. They have seen me cry, they've seen me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe, they've seen me have breakdowns through stress, but most importantly they've seen the real me. I've changed a lot through the last two semesters, we all have. But they've stuck with me-they've loved me for my quirks and for my insecurities, for my ten-minute laughing fits and for my makeup obsession, for my shady comebacks and for my annoyingly optimistic view on everything. They're my home.

Now, I know what I want to do. Yes, I've made some questionable decisions and mistakes in my first year here, but I've never lost sight of who I am and who I want to be. I'm still working some things out, but I am reminded every single day why I am here. I can honestly say that even while I sit in my classes I genuinely love being here, and I am falling more and more in love with my major every single day. I still have three years left and I can't wait to see what they bring, but so far I'm in love. I'm in love with life, I'm in love with my school, I'm in love with my future.

Now, I walk around this campus that seemed so huge at first, and I am still in shock that I am here. I see the groups of high schoolers on tours around campus and I smile, remembering what it was like when I toured here with my dad. I think about how this school, full of over 30,000 students, can somehow feel like such a close-knit family and how it really has become my home.

Now, with less than two weeks left in my freshman year, I'm just as emotional as I was in my first week. I'm excited to go home and see my family, and I'm stoked to see what the next few years will bring, but I don't want to leave. I don't want to wake up in the morning and not see my roommate or not be able to take walks around this gorgeous campus. I don't want to finish packing all of these boxes and squish them back into the car. I don't want to wait three whole months to be back at Willy-B screaming with the rest of my gamecocks.

I never expected my first year to go the way it has, and I never expected it to fly by this fast, despite what everyone told me.

Now, in two weeks when I move out and make that 6 hour drive back to my first home, texting friends, posting goodbye messages to my dorm, and singing along to the radio, I think I will actually cry. Not only because I'm sad about leaving, but because now...I know. I know now that I am capable but that I do still need my mom. I know now that I have to say goodbye to my friends here but that I won't lose them. I know now that I will be okay, and my future will be brighter than I ever could have imagined. I know that I have a home and a family to come back to in three months and I know that because of that, there's nothing to be scared of.

Goodbye freshman year, I miss you already.

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

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I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

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My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

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In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

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Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

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Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

friends

It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

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Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

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Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

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My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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