18 Lessons I Learned In 2018

18 Lessons I Learned In 2018

This year was filled with laughs and tears, but more than anything it was filled with lessons learned.

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2018 had both good and bad moments, but all around it was a great year for me. Graduating high school and starting college taught me a lot in a very short amount of time. I'm proud to say that I'm walking out of 2018 a better, stronger, more confident person. Here are 18 things 2018 taught me.

1. If someone cares about you, they will make time for you. 

The idea that someone can be too busy to ever see you is crap. If someone really wants to spend time with you, they will find a way. If they can't find at least a little time for you, you're not a priority in their life.

2. You can't force relationships. 

No matter how perfect someone or something may seem in your head, you can't force someone to love you, whether that be in a romantic way or a completely platonic way. If it's meant to happen it will happen, and if it's not, you have to move on.

3. Some people just aren't meant to be permanent characters in your life. 

As hard as it may be to lose friends or lose touch with people you were once really close with, you have to understand that everyone is not permanent. Sometimes, especially in high school, you have the friends that you have because they're convenient, and that's okay.

4. Being confident does not make you conceited. 

It is okay to love yourself. It is okay to think of yourself as pretty. It is okay to take a thousand selfies, or take a second to admire yourself in the mirror. As long as you don't cross over into bringing other people down to build yourself up, it is okay.

5. Be kind, to everyone. 

As cliché as it sounds, every single person you meet has a personal life that you most likely know nothing about. You never know the positive impact that a simple compliment or act of kindness from you has on someone. Try your best to be kind to everyone you meet.

6. Everything happens according to God's timing, not yours. 

It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that you're somehow "behind" someone else in the race of life, but the reality is that life is not a race. Just because someone else your age is married or has already bought a house or already has a career, doesn't mean that you have to do those things too. It will happen for you when it's meant to happen, and it's all a part of God's greater plan.

7. Money will never make you truly happy. 

You can spend your whole life trying to convince yourself that if you had more money, you would finally be happy. However, it's human nature to always want more than what we have. Focus on being content with what you have instead of wasting your life away wishing you had more.

8. Everything will work out how it is supposed to work out. 

So many times in the past year, things have not worked out exactly how I wanted to, and every single time, I have always ended up happier because of it. Stop worrying about what you might have been, and just let things happen.

9. Being in a relationship is not everything.

When you're single, especially if you have been single for a long time, it starts to seem like everyone else around you is dating someone. That loneliness can lead you to pursue relationships with people that you know are not right for you, and that just isn't healthy. Focus on being happy with yourself. If and when the right person comes along, you'll know it.

10. No one really has life figured out. 

When you're young, it seems like every adult knows exactly what they're doing at all times. As you get older, you realize how far from the truth that actually is. In all honesty, we're all pretty much winging it a lot of the time. It's okay to not have it all figured out just yet.

11. You have to stand for something. 

It is important to know what your own morals are, especially as a college student. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone believes their opinion to be fact. The easiest way for someone to get you to do something you wouldn't normally do is if your moral ground is not solid.

12. You are not entitled to anything. 

Never ever catch yourself thinking that you deserve something when you know you haven't worked for it.

13. Positive thinking goes a long way.

Anyone can sit around and point out everything that's negative about a person or a situation. Focus on being the kind of person that sees something good in everything and everyone, and it will change your life.

14. Make the most of where you are right now. 

A lot of us waste our lives away wishing for the weekend, or to graduate, or to fall in love. Don't waste the time you have now wishing something better was happening. Stop waiting for your future "moment," and make the most of the moment you are in right now.

15. It's okay to walk away. 

The moment that a person or situation stops being productive, it's okay to walk away. Loyalty is one thing, but it's not worth staying even when something becomes unhealthy, which brings me to my next point...

16. Loyalty is not blind love. 

Just because you've known someone for a long time, doesn't mean you owe them your loyalty. And just because you are loyal to someone, doesn't mean you can't hold them accountable for their mistakes.

17. Comparison is the enemy. 

Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are who you are. When you spend your time wondering why you're not as popular, or as smart, or as wealthy as someone else, you're stealing your own happiness.

18. In the end, it's all about what makes you happy. 

You are the one that has to live with your decisions. You, in all reality, are the person you will spend your entire life with. Don't waste time trying to please everyone else. Just do you.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I Made In College

The mistakes I corrected which stood between me and satisfaction.

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2019 has been a year of unparalleled growth for me. In 2018 I could have said the same. I spent extended periods of time analyzing the factors of my life which left me, in some ways, feeling unfulfilled. Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes that I made in college which left me feeling happier than ever.

1. Cut out the toxic people. 

A house is worthless without a solid foundation. The people which you call your friends are largely the foundation for your confidence and social life. Sometimes, we recognize that these people are overall anchors on our psyche; condescending narcissists whose confidence rests on making others feel inadequate. The first step to building self-confidence is to get these people out of your life immediately. Once you solidify this foundation, you will soon realize how pitiful these people are, and growth you had been capable of without them.

2. Do you even lift?

Not only has my physical condition improved from going to the gym, so has my mental strength. As my physical form has improved, my confidence has risen. We have spent millions of years evolving to physically exert ourselves. Our modern lifestyle has left many of us without this crucial key to endorphins and proper brain chemistry; a factor which has promoted never before seen rates of depression and anxiety. Lifting weights have left me feeling better than I can remember, with endorphins and testosterone at an all-time high.

For years, I either avoided the gym or found excuses to stop. The reason I never committed to fitness was largely a lack of interest in self-betterment, but also a feeling of cluelessness in the subject. I recommend utilizing the "Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide" linked here. This guide breaks down fitness in an incredibly easy to understand way. This information is not published by someone trying to sell you something. It was written by input from numerous online fitness enthusiasts and refined for accuracy as well as simplicity. This guide has helped me and many others in online communities start down the road to improved physical and mental health through fitness.

3. Do as much as possible, even when you don't feel like it. 


I squandered years of my short life secluding myself to a comfort bubble. While in college, I have realized that happiness largely rests on occupying yourself with new and real experiences as frequently as possible. Time which would have previously been wasted on my phone, the television, or playing online games was shifted to trying new things. As often as possible, I have pushed myself to undertake activities such as learning to snowboard, grabbing food with people from college whom I had just met, going hiking with strangers and our mutual friend, traveling solo, etc. Pushing myself further from my comfort bubble every day has been exceptionally conducive to not only living life to a greater degree but also decreasing the anxieties which we all experience.


What can you fix in your current life to build the lifestyle you dream of?





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