It’s crazy that there are only a couple days left in 2016. It feels like New Year’s Day was just yesterday, and that I just finished my first year of college. Now I’m halfway through my second year, and things are different, but they have definitely changed for the best.
In 2016, I finished my first year of college, joined a sorority, altered my major, and signed a lease for my junior year. I also became a content creator for the Odyssey, made some amazing new friends, and discovered more about what I do and don’t want in life. Looking back, it’s been a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. And yet, with all those changes came things that need to be left behind this year, and I encourage all of you to consider leaving these things in the old year and focusing instead on what you can do in the new one.
Leave behind your feelings of inadequacy and instead learn to love yourself better.
Loving yourself means doing what makes you happy, treating yourself the way you deserve (and I mean being gentle with yourself, not treating yourself like garbage because you think you deserve it), remembering that you are enough, and taking time for yourself if and when you need it. It also means making your own decisions instead of relying on your friends and family to make them for you. I had to learn that for myself, and I firmly believe everyone else should, too.
Leave behind the negativity.
Not only does that include the friends who are always bringing you down, but it includes the negative self-talk that everyone seems to get. Replace “I can’t do anything” with “I can do it if I work harder.” Instead of “I failed, I’m done,” try “Well that didn’t work. I’ll try again.” Negative thoughts only lead to a negative state of mind. Positivity is contagious, and you never know who might need that.
Leave behind the grudges and the angry feelings.
You will never be happy if you refuse to let the little things go. Trust me, you will be much happier when you learn to accept the apology you never got. This doesn’t just include forgiving others’ mistakes, however. It also means forgiving yourself for the ones you made, which can arguably be harder than forgiving others. But you’ll feel much lighter without all the anger and bitterness weighing you down.
So here’s to 2016 for teaching us lessons we never thought we’d have to learn. I hope 2017 brings you all laughter, new achievements, and new adventures. I hope that 2017 is good to all of us and that it is everything you want it to be.