The Art Of Letting Go: Knowing When To Leave Something Behind

The Art Of Letting Go: Knowing When To Leave Something Behind

There comes a moment when your involvement with work, clubs, and relationships have reached its maximum potential. The Art of Letting Go is a skill you need to recognize that on-coming break-up and save yourself the pain. New Year, New Me...

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During our first-year orientation, our college gave us a tassel attached to a blank list. We fill out what we want to have accomplished by the end of our fourth year and share it with the group. On my list, I put the usual: graduate, good grades, post-grad goals, and career networking. I also added "Filipino culture," because, as someone who grew up with mostly Hispanic peers at predominantly Latino institutions, I did not have much knowledge of Filipino culture nor did I have many Filipino friends. I always felt a disconnect because I did not have a group of friends in high school with shared cultural experiences and could not even feel comfortable when faced with the opportunity. Though it is important to have a diverse group of peers, there is something special in being friends with people culturally relatable. Also, I'd feel a stab of envy whenever I saw pictures of childhood friends at each other's family parties, and moreover, there was a strange sense of loneliness I couldn't help but experience. To address my goal, I joined the premiere Filipino organization on our campus, Samahang Pilipino.

My first year in Samahang was a learning curve. By the end of my first year in college, I was more educated about my community, its history, and my culture. More importantly, I started to develop a group of Filipino friends I had always wanted. By my second year, I got involved in many leadership opportunities the organization had to offer and developed many friendships along the way. However, at the end of it, I was burnt out, exhausted, and partially jaded by the experience. I decided to not continue with leadership, and the beginning of my third year sucked. I didn't have much to do anymore, all my friends were still being amazing in the space (and busy with it, too), and it felt off-putting. However, the break allowed me to take a step back from the leadership environment and give a strong sigh of relief. I was no longer tied to the responsibilities of the org and was able to see the people I had worked so closely with as who they were initially: my friends.

In retrospect, my subconscious knew it was time to leave the organization because I got what I wanted from it- culture and kinship. I am still grateful and appreciative of the leadership experience, and it actually developed some relationships further, but I pushed myself when there was nothing left for me. I learned about my heritage and I made core friends along the way, which is what I wanted out of it. The burnout came from digging for more than what I had asked for or really needed.

I have learned through this experience that there are moments where you must leave an organization, job, or even, a relationship. In my situation, I had to reassess the leadership roles that required more commitment than I was willing to give.

Before stepping foot into a community, ask yourself: What do I want from this experience? Throughout your journey, as long as it still matches your values and goals, you can be flexible with what you want from your outcome. However, and you'll know it when you feel it, you have to accept when it is time for you to go.

Here is a list of signs:

  1. When you have no more growth in the space.
  2. When the space does not benefit your direction towards your goals.
  3. When it becomes more burdensome than fulfilling.
  4. When you have given it your all and there's nothing left to give.

Knowing when to let go will keep any position or relationship left still healthy and positive, so when necessary, you can go back to the space without hesitation for a hand or a hug (I still love you, SP).

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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How To Not Be Filled With Regret When A Loved One Passes

Is there a possible way to avoid regret?

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Let me start off by saying this: there is no way to not be filled with regret after a loved one passes. No matter whether you have spoken to them every day or maybe once in a few weeks after they are gone, you think of all the possibilities of where you could have done more for them.

I still live with regret after my grandmother has passed in 2015 and it's four years later.

My feelings towards her passing are still as relevant as they were back then. I spoke to her many times, we wrote letters back and forth, I tried to enjoy life with her while she was still here. Towards the end, I knew it was coming but still thought a miracle could happen.

The second I walked into my house from school after taking the PSAT, I was given the news. I sat down in my kitchen, tears rolling down my cheeks, and my mind started racing. Me, telling myself repeatedly, "You could have done more."

I sat there for a while, thinking about all the situations where I could have seen her more, or talked her more, even if was just over the phone. I became very hard on myself, and that didn't already help the situation of losing someone.

It's inevitable to become sad when you lose someone you love and know they are not replaceable, but you can't blame yourself for what you didn't do. You have to remember everything you DID DO.

It's easier to see the negative in things, but if you are always looking for the negatives, you will become depressed. Of course, you will most likely be full of some type of regret, but don't let it consume you. Think of the happy times you two have had.

That person would have appreciated anything from you, even if it was just seeing a smile on your face.

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