16 Lessons Learned In 2016

16 Lessons Learned In 2016

Turns out there was some good to take out of all the bad.

It's no secret that 2016 was full of some major disasters, big and small, some more serious and some more humorous. And as much as we would all like to forget everything that happened, the year will probably continue to be a running joke for at least a few more months. But what's important to remember is that 2016 wasn't all bad. For some people, it may have even been their personal best year. So we can't just brush 2016 under the rug without taking anything away from it, instead, there are some lessons learned that we should remember and carry with us through 2017 and years to come.

1. You're only as strong as you push yourself to be

Mentally, physically, and emotionally. If your first instinct is to give in when it seems too hard then you'll never get any better. If you push yourself to try just a little bit harder you'll be amazed by the results.

2. You can have fun with or without alcohol

Don't just drink because you feel like you need to, you can still have just as much fun sober. If you don't like the effects of alcohol, don't keep forcing yourself to drink and be miserable.

3. But don't judge someone for having fun a different way than you do

Just because you don't drink doesn't make you superior to someone who does, and if one of your friends doesn't drink, you're not cooler than them because you dance on tables every weekend. Respect other people's preferances.

4. Put your phone down and listen

I know it's hard to disconnect sometimes, but the world around you doesn't stop because you're not paying attention. Spend time with friends and family and actually be present in the moment.

5. Know what stories are worth telling

Just because you think something needs to be shared doesn't mean people actually want to hear it. There's a fine line between sharing and being an attention seeker- find that line.

6. Find your Drake

Stop settling for less than bae. (I know they broke up, I still haven't come to terms with it, OK?)

7. Some people are just absolute sh*t and you can't change them

Try all you want but it's really just who they are as a person, it has nothing to do with you

8. Some poeple deserve a second chance

Be selective with who you offer them to, but some people may surprise you and end up being someone completely different than you originally had them pegged

9. Make a finsta

Because sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself and make the best of a sh*tty situation

10. Putting in 100% effort doesn't go unnoticed

In school, work, or just life in general... even if you aren't outwardly praised, you will be appreciated for what you do.

11. Write things down

Think of all the stress you would save yourself if you wrote things down instead of remembering at the last second.

12. You are capable of so much more than you think

Don't second guess yourself and say you can't do something because odds are if you try, you'll see you can actually do a lot more than you expected.

13. Educate yourself before starting an argument

No one likes to lose an argument, so know what you're arguing for before you embarrass yourself

14. Do your own thing

Don't always be a follower, sometimes you need to go off on your own and enjoy a little "me time." Don't feel bad about missing out on something for a little time to yourself.

15. Learn how to cook

You'll feel better when you know what you're putting into your food and you'll feel accomplished when you nail one of those cool Tasty videos

16. Do whatever the f*ck makes you happy, with whoever the f*ck makes you happy

Because at the end of the day, your opinion is the only one that should be impacting your life.

Whatever lessons you took away from the disaster that was 2016, just make this year even better. You'll always keep learning new things because with each new year we experience new things and some of the things we know to be true now may change over time. Life goes on and we live and learn, that's the beauty of it all.

Cover Image Credit: Alvaro Serrano

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.


Since I was 15, I have been a counselor at various summer camps. I have been a Program Aide at Girl Scout camp, a counselor at church camp, and a counselor at a day camp. These were all camps that I attended as a kid, so they already had a special place in my heart when I got a chance to work at them.

After being a camp counselor for five years, there are things that I have learned on the job that has helped me in life. Being a counselor has also helped me grow as a person. It's helped me gain skills that I don't think I would have learned in other jobs. I'm here to share what I love about the job of being a camp counselor.

1. You get to be the leader/role model

As a kid, there were many counselors in my life that I looked up to. They were people that I strived to be alike in my life, but now that I'm older, I get to be that person for the kid. What I say and do will influence how the kids around me act. That comes with a lot of stress, but it's also empowering. You can be a positive influence in a kids life, and hopefully, teach them important life lessons.

2. You can be your goofy self

One thing that I love about working with kids is that I can be silly around them. Kids won't judge you for being silly because they're silly right alongside you. They feed off your energy, and it can help them explore the world around them through communication. Plus, when was it not fun to be silly?

3. You get to hang out with kids all day

This reason might turn people off from the job, but it's a part of why I love being a counselor. Hanging out with kids tires me out at times, but they also motivate me to keep going. They're little balls of energy, and I feed off of other people's energies well. The kids also help me feel youthful and like nothing matters. Everything is fun to them; they help me keep a positive outlook on life.

4. Your coworkers become your best friends

Working at a summer camp can be difficult at times. It's emotionally and physically draining as well. But having a good support team helps with that. The counselors that I have worked with in the past have become my best friends, and I still stay in touch with some. They're there for you when no one else is, and they understand what you're going through. You know that their feelings for you are genuine, and they want to help as much as they can.

5. You get to watch the kids grow

Over the summer, I get to see the same kids every week at my camp. I get to see them grow as people over the summer and it's a rewarding experience knowing that I was able to help them. Watching them become leaders and grow into little helpers by the end of the summer is one of my favorite things.

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work at a summer camp again this year. I know that it'll provide an opportunity to grow as a person and I can't wait to see my favorite kids again.

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