8 Things I've Learned From A Girl Who Has Done It All

8 Things I've Learned From A Girl Who Has Done It All

Thank you for giving me something to work for.
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Dear Pal,

I am amazed by you. I am amazed by your dedication to everything you do. As I sit across from you right now, hearing about your journey and challenges and daily struggles, I feel blessed to know that you have made time for me. In list form, (for the sake of an article) here are a few things you have taught me that I will never forget.

1. Be strong

I am as strong as I want to be and can do anything that I want to. You have been given an innumerable amount of roadblocks, ones that I cannot imagine overcoming, but here you are. You have proven to be a living example of what it means to have faith in God, and to trust His timing, taking hold on the fact that He won’t give you more than you can handle. I have learned from you what it means to be a warrior and to tackle heavy obstacles through my faith in Him.

2. Don’t compare your story

You have been through hell and back, but when I talk about what happened on my seemingly insignificant weekend, you make me feel as though I conquered the world. You have shown me how important it is to live through your life, and not to wish you were in someone else’s. I have learned through you what it means to be proud of how far I have come, and to keep striving to be my best me.

3. Build others up

Never have I seen you frown and you are always on your A game. You are the sweetest, most genuine person and one who isn’t going to let your bad day tear others down. You have a way of making everyone feel special and loved and necessary, you make me feel important. I have learned through you how important it is to allow others to feel that warmth sparked by positive attention.

4. Give it to me straight

You always say that you’re not good at confrontation, but you have proven to be very wrong in that. You know what it means to be straight with someone, and how to help them be better. I have been known to beat around the bush, but with you, I know that you are going to give someone what they need to know about themselves, in order to help them grow. I have learned from you how to give advice, how to receive criticism, and how to handle tough situations.

5. Live every moment

You recently told me that you wake up at 5 every morning to go to the gym, and are at it until about 1 a.m. some nights; all I can say is that I am shook. Not only am I never going to complain about being tired again, but you have given me the motivation to be better. You take every moment for what it is worth and I’m sure some of that comes from you finding out the hard way how precious life is. You amaze me by how full your schedule is, that if you want to do something, you will find time to do it. I have learned from you what it means to not waste time and how to live fully.

6. Laugh about it

You have taught me that there is a time and a place for taking things seriously, but also a time to cut loose and have fun. You spread your smile across campus, and leave a warm fuzzy on everyone’s heart. Thank you for showing me when it's better just to laugh about it, not stress about it, for showing me that things are always going to get better and that in the moment, we should smile. I have learned from you that I am going to be okay, that I am going to conquer this college thing, and that I should most definitely smile while doing so.

7. Coffee Helps

I love our coffee dates. Seeing you so motivated to be a good teacher makes me want to be a good writer, that’s probably why I am writing this right now. Sipping on a Caramel Macchiato and twirling your pencil while studying away, a small break in your hectic day. I have learned from you that coffee helps. (Okay, maybe I already knew this but I’m telling myself it’s not just me who compulsively drinks coffee to make myself feel better)

8. It is well

Hopefully, you don’t mind me stealing this little phrase from you, I love it so much. Through your stories, through your time, through your help, I have learned from you that it is well.

For those of you reading this, who don’t know Courtney, she is a BGSU enthusiast, the daughter of a fighter, the sister of some warriors, the niece of angels, and a child of God. She is my PAL, and I have been so blessed to get to know her. And with that, I will say thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Erika Glover

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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To The High School Senior Wishing She Could Fast-Forward To Graduation, Careful What You Wish For

Don't wish this time away.

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As the last stretch of my freshman year of college stands before me, I've been thinking a lot about where I was a year ago today. I've thought about how fast the time has gone, but also how much has happened in that year.

A year ago, I decided what college I was going to and was getting ready to graduate, and honestly counting down the days until graduation. Senior year was almost over, and I couldn't wait to walk across that stage, get my diploma, and FINALLY get to start my real life. However, now that it's a year later I honestly barely remember all those little moments and it feels like literally a world ago when I was in my high school and making my Senior Board full of pictures of my childhood. And part of me wishes that I hadn't wished all that time away.

So, to my high school seniors out there — I encourage you to cherish all the memories you are making. I encourage you to spend time with your parents and savor the meals you have with them and enjoy the conversations where your mom asks all the mom questions about your day, and your dad tells a story from his childhood that you've heard a million times before. I encourage you to appreciate the friends you have, and whether or not you plan to stay friends with them after graduation, be grateful for the time with them in this season and the role that they played in your life.

I ask you to look around your high school, stop and stare at the walls that you've probably been praying to get out of for a few months now and appreciate the memories and times you've had in those buildings. Whether or not high school was a great time for you or a bad time, it was a time of growth and the place where you matured and made mistakes and succeeded.

Seniors, enjoy these last few months because before you know it you'll blink and it will be a year later and you'll be miss those days that you complained about, those teachers you rolled your eyes at, and those friends that you shared that time with.

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