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.