My experience in college hasn't always been the most glamorous. Some instances knocked me down to my knees: moments that I thought I wasn't going to get through. But these are the same moments that made me into the person I am today.
I came into college as a giver. I freely gave my time, energy, and kindness away without realizing I didn't leave enough for me. The thing about when you're a giver is that people take and take until there's nothing left. I used to be okay with that because my aspiration in life is to positively impact those around me. I didn't know at the time that it doesn't matter if your intentions are pure, people will still take advantage of it. You can't expect you in others. When people realize you're a giver, they can often mistake your kindness for weakness. It took me around three years to realize it's okay to be selfish with your time, energy, and heart. It's okay to be protective over who has access to these things. My mistake was I was careless with my energy. I lost myself trying to please those around me, but it made me into who I am today.
Throughout college I realized:
1. You can still be a good person and not let others walk all over you.
People treat you how you allow them to treat you. So, if you allow them to walk all over you, then they will continue to do so because you're teaching them it's okay too. You might feel like you're being mean the first time you stand up for yourself, and the other person might be in shock as well. This is because they're not used to you sticking up for yourself. Stand your ground.
2. You can say no.
If you don't feel like talking, or don't feel like hanging out, it's okay to say no. It's okay to take time for yourself.
3. Sometimes the best response is no response.
Some people will purposely try to get under your skin. I've typed up paragraphs in my notes app that I've wanted to send, but sometimes it's just not worth it. If someone already has an idea made up in their head, they're not going to change it because of a text.
4. Doing what's best for you isn't selfish.
You're allowed to put yourself first. If you don't take care of yourself, then who will? You are your most important asset. Love yourself as you would love others.
5. Others don't have to understand.
If it makes you happy, others don't have to understand.
6. You're not obligated to explain yourself.
You're never obligated to explain why you do what you do or why you post what you post. If something makes you happy it doesn't have to make sense to anyone else.
7. Don't expect you in others.
The easiest way to set yourself up for failure is expecting others to have the same heart as you. It's disheartening when people treat you the way they do because you'd never do that to them, but that's on them and that has nothing to do with you.
8. Don't rely on someone for your happiness.
You are the only one that can make you truly happy. If you rely on your happiness from someone else, whenever they're gone you may feel lost. Someone should always add to your happiness, but they should never be the whole source of your happiness.
9. The opinions of others don't define who you are.
People might give you a dirty look, or say something negative about you. You're the only one that can accurately judge you.
10. You can't wait for life to be good to be happy.
Life has continuous obstacles, and if you wait until life is good to be happy, then you might find yourself disappointed. Sometimes you just have to find the light and happiness even during the darkest of times
The fact of the matter is, you can still be a good person and set boundaries for yourself and others. You need to take care of yourself like you would take care of others because you are important too.