My freshman year of high school, my all-time favorite teacher put a handwritten note on my desk that read, Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter. That is one of the most relevant pieces of advice that I have received thus far, considering that college is far from the 'judgment-free zone' that we make it out to be.

In case you haven't figured this out by now, not everyone is going to like you. Unfortunately, some people will not be able to see past your flaws to realize how great of a person you actually are. That is one of the many harsh realities of life, but you know what? It doesn't even matter, because you do not need validation from every person you have ever encountered that you are, in fact, worth it.

It can be difficult to want to open up to and trust people after realizing that some people will just never get you. You'd think that since we all grow up with different life stories that we'd be more open-minded, right? No. If people do not like something about you, then they may think it's OK to degrade you for whatever those things may be. Just for the record, those who are worth your time will not sit around and attempt to make you feel worthless.

It's not easy to get up and put yourself out there in a world populated with picky, judgmental people who cannot accept you for you. As crazy as this may sound, there are plenty of people out there who would appreciate your sense of humor, your taste in music, your affinity for certain things, your contagious smile. You just have to look around you, and as difficult as it may be, do not let go of these people once you find them. It is not fair to you, or them, because they are sticking around for a reason. As for why you would even want to let go in the first place? It can be misleading when you finally find people who appreciate you, because how do you know that they are not playing with your head? Trust me, if someone wants nothing to do with you, they will treat you accordingly. Cut out those who contribute overwhelming negativity to your life, and focus on those who make you a better person. You will thank yourself later.

Surround yourself with people who bring out your best smile; do not accept anything else, sunshine. XO