8 Lessons I've Learned in 2018

8 Things I've Learned in 2018

For me, 2018 was a time of growth and opportunity. Take some time to reflect on some of the most important things you, too, have learned this year.


1. Other people see more in you than you will ever see in yourself. I, and you too are far more capable than we believe.

I have found numerous opportunities that I never would have if it weren't for those around me. This semester, countless sorority sisters encouraged me to run for chapter president. After responding with "No. No way. Are you kidding me? Me? No. I can't do that." for so long, I began to see that all of these people saw something in me that I had never even scratched the surface of within myself. The point I'm making is this: your capabilities are worlds beyond what you can imagine. Pay attention to those around you who see amazing, special qualities in you that may lead you down a path you never thought you would travel. In turn, be that person to tell others attributes you see in them. They may never know without your guidance.

2. I would rather take the risk of telling someone exactly how I feel than them never knowing at all.

I haven't always been the best at telling people how I feel in certain situations. Whether I'm frustrated, angry, hurt, happy, or excited, I tend to keep to myself in order to play it safe. This year, I have challenged myself to be more transparent with those around me, no matter the circumstance. I look at life this way: bottom line, I would rather have someone know how I feel about a certain situation than continue to go through life without them knowing. Life is way too precious and short for that. In some instances, it's kind of fun/exciting. In the upcoming months, I challenge you to open up about something that you have been otherwise afraid to. It is much healthier to live openly than live hiding.

3. It takes both the tough times and the great times to discover who is truly going to be there for you, always, no matter what.

I've had times this year that many people in my life have really surprised me-- both in great and rather not-so-great ways. Some who I have thought would always be there have not been, and some who I never thought would be there are some of my strongest rocks. I think it takes both types of situations to find people who are going to cheer you on in your happiest moments and hug you in your worst. I am thankful for those who, no matter what, are my biggest supporters and cheerleaders all in one. Find those people and hang onto them tightly.

4. "The Office" is the best show in the history of all shows.

I had never watched The Office before this year (sinful, right?). But now that I have, there's nothing that can beat it. 'Nuff said.

5. It is perfectly OK to remove people from your life who don't better you, and it is even more OK to not feel bad about it.

Taking a break from a person for awhile can be beneficial to our overall well being. Instead, focusing our energy on healthier relationships and most importantly, on ourselves, can be extremely rewarding in a lot of ways. In my, probably rather unpopular opinion, it's ok to cut people out, or distance yourself, from people who are not constantly bettering you. I know it's not always that easy. Take time to reflect on the relationship with that person and if it's worth it, find ways to work it out. If it's not, it's OK to leave that person behind. Again, life is way too short.

6. Happiness doesn't choose you. You choose happiness.

It's easy to get hung up on the things that are upsetting to us. Life is always going to throw bullets our way that we don't particularly enjoy. I've had a few of those moments this year. "This sucks. I'm so unhappy. Why is this happening to me?" But the truth is, one thing lost does not even compare to the millions of things that still remain, and the billions more to gain. You are only going to be as happy as you decide to be. Wake up and choose happiness. Every day.

7. Do more, love harder, expect less.

I have found time and time again this year that when I expect less, I end up less disappointed. What I have begun to focus on, however, is small things that I can do for others that take the focus off of myself. Whether it's stopping by my sorority sister's rooms to ask how their day has been, texting a friend or family member I haven't spoken to in awhile, or calling my mom to tell her something that I love about her, I have found that doing these things is so much more fulfilling than expecting anything from others. One of the hardest things I have had to come to terms with is accepting to go through life without the expectation that everyone has the same heart as you.

8. I always want to be fearlessly, unapologetically and wonderfully myself.

It seems obvious, but as I look back, I spend the most time with those who allow me to be my most honest and true self. I sometimes find myself afraid of being too bold, too bubbly, too charismatic-- but I never want to apologize for who I am to anyone, and neither should you. There are always going to be both major and minor differences between you and the person sitting next to you. The best thing for us to all do is respect each other for our differences in interests, loves, personalities, passions and drives. Be bold. Be you. And don't apologize for a minute of it.

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17 Things I Learned From Dr. Cristina Yang In Preparation For 2017

2016 was tough, but Dr. Yang can help you have a better year this year.

2016 was tough. It was a year of transition, pain, difficult decisions, moving forward, and a whole lot of binge watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix to help me through the rough patches. Here's 17 things I learned from Dr. Cristina Yang in preparation for 2017:

1. Every Woman Should Be Known For More Than Just Her Good Looks

There are more important things in life than what you look like. At the end of everything, when lots of years pass, beauty fades, and brains remain.

2. Sometimes You Just Have To Be On Your Own.

Sometimes the only person you can count on is yourself. That's when you can become a force of nature.

3. It's OK To Keep Some Things To Yourself.

Not everyone needs to know your business, and not everyone that you're really close to has to know every detail of your life. Choose what you share with people very carefully.

4. It's OK To Not Need No Man!

Being a "strong, independent woman who don't need no man" is an important first step in becoming a better you. After all, you can't love anyone else unless you love yourself first.

5. You Set The Standards For Yourself, So Raise The Bar High.

Greatness can only be achieved if you push yourself to new levels. So, forget being average, and strive for greatness.

6. Sometimes You Can Only Handle Focusing On One Thing At A Time.

Don't bite off more than you can chew, especially if you're going through a difficult time. Focus only on what you can handle in any given moment.

7. In This Life You Get What You Accept, So You Just Have To Stop Accepting Crap.

Along the lines of, "you are who your friends are" falls the idea that what you accept is what happens to you. So, stop accepting crap from yourself and others, and crappy things will stop happening to you.

8. Pain is a real thing. You will feel it, and it will hurt.

Life is hard. And sometimes very painful. But you have to allow yourself to feel the pain as it comes, otherwise it'll only hurt worse later on.

9. Sometimes The Best Things Happen After We Hit Rock Bottom.

Many of us know what it feels like to hit rock bottom, but only a few of us know what it feels like to pull yourself up out of that. Choose to be like the Phoenix, and rise from the ashes.

10. You Have To Put Yourself First, And That's OK.

You have to choose what is best for you. If you're constantly doing things for the approval of others, or to help others and neglect yourself, you will burn out and face more difficult times. It's OK to put yourself and your needs first.

11. The Most Painful Experiences Are The Ones We Learn The Most From.

The most painful experiences we endure are also the ones we learn the most from. We have to find the strength within ourselves to learn from those mistakes and to choose to never let them happen again.

12. It's OK To Be Dedicated To Your Work.

There are worse faults to have than being a hard-worker.

13. A Little Bit Of Competition Is Healthy.

Healthy competition is a great way to relieve stress, keep your body healthy, and your mind focused. Shoving as many hot dogs as possible down your throat may not be the best choice, but hey, to each their own!

14. Even The Strongest Of People Need Someone They Can Count On.

Everyone needs someone to be their person. You've got to find your person and never let them go.

15. You Can't Fix Your Problems If You Let Them Cripple You.

"The first step is admitting you have a problem." Well, if that's true then the second step must be working towards fixing the problem is the only way you'll overcome your problems.

16. It's OK To Let Your Guard Down With The Right Person.

Often times after we endure traumatic experiences we put up walls and never trust anyone again. This can actually do more harm than good. It's OK to tear those walls down for the right person.

17. When All Else Fails...You Just Have To Dance It Out.

Sometimes you just have to get out of your own head and let loose for a little while. Take a break, throw on some uplifting, upbeat music, and throw yourself a mini dance party...even if you're dancing alone!

Cover Image Credit: Fanpop

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This Year, I Will Stop Worrying About Situations That Have Not Happened

Worrying about every negative outcome is a dreadful way of protecting yourself.


I remember crying in the airport, ridiculously anxious and scared of a horrible situation that had not even happened, for one instance. I typically make myself sick over the fear of a bad outcome in the future, but this toxic way of thinking is no way to live a healthy life.

In short, it is anxiety, but instead of just classifying it as anxiety, I have found that most of the times I am upset or worried is when I am depicting a horrible outcome in my head of what life could spin in to. It is my way of protecting myself, thinking of every upsetting scenario and going through the ways of how I will handle it in my head prior to it happening. It can sound somewhat logical, but my mind got carried away with it.

It didn't end up being a thought-out method with plans of reaction for negative outcomes, I would end up worrying about things so bizarre and so unlikely to happen and it would completely consume me. It robbed me of happiness. Worrying about unreal and unlikely situations sent me into spirals of crying and anxiety, and not for any real or plausible reason. I would spend the whole day staring at the wall, unable to speak to anyone because my worry was so consuming, or finally meet my breaking point and just erupt in tears and have to explain to the people around me that I am basically crying for no reason.

There is too much life to live to live every day by the lingering thought of "What if something bad happens?" I have too many good days ahead of me to be spent worrying, and a handful of bad ones that should not be made worse by worry or fear. Life is good, and it is almost frightening because it has been very good for a while, perhaps this is why my mind wants to prepare for the worst, as the daunting thought of things being "too good" comes into play.

Even when bad days come, and they will, I will handle them. I have noticed that when life is so hard, I get through it, and I look back thinking "Damn. How did I ever get through that?" I take pride in the fact that when bad days, situations, and periods of life do occur, I always, always handle them. But, in the meantime, I would like to savor my good days instead of worrying about not-yet-existent bad days.

So, this is a big step for me, but I am going to try and do this. I know it will bring peace to me, and a lot of people who surround me. This year, I will stop worrying about situations that have not happened.

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