8 Lessons I Learned In 2018 Despite It Being The Hardest Year Yet

8 Lessons I Learned In 2018 Despite It Being The Hardest Year Yet

Tough years make for better growth.

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When 2018 began, I thought that it was going to be the year I would reinvent myself. In a way, that was true, but it also led to a lot of backtracking, heartbreak, life lessons, trauma, and growth. Although this year was difficult, and I wasn't sure if I would get through it in a healthy mental state, I am glad that I experienced it. It showed me how to be strong, it showed me that the hard times aren't going to stop, I'm just going to know how to deal with them in more progressive ways as I grow. I wanted to share the 8 main lessons I learned so that these lessons could help anyone who is or has gone through similar situations.

1. Sometimes trauma that you thought you worked through, completely, comes back to haunt you.

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When this happens, it does not mean that you have backtracked. All it means is that you have some unfinished business to take care of. You just have to learn how to cope and how to overcome it.

2. Some people are uncomfortable with the topics that you choose to write about.

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People are not as much of an open book as you may be. Some people don't like to face their past or their problems head-on. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Don't let them drown out your voice. Keep writing.

3. Girls are still ruthlessly mean, even in college, even if they pretend to be your friend.

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Cliques and mean girls don't disappear once you go to college, no matter who tries to tell you they do. If you find yourself caught up in the drama of a mean girl, do yourself a favor and distance yourself from that toxicity.

4. Romantic relationships can also be amazing friendships all at once.

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A quote I live by is to "fall in love with your best friend." My boyfriend and I are backward with that one. I fell in love with him and then we became best friends. Either way, it's how you know it's real.

5. Alone time doesn't mean that you're lonely.

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Loneliness means that you are lost, but alone time means that you're growing and learning about yourself, which I find to be two completely opposite things. Don't let anyone take your alone time from you, it is sacred.

6. College doesn't have to solely be about your career. 

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Take it a day at a time and you will find yourself valuing your education more than you did when you were only focusing on your future job.

7. Real friends will understand why you can't make time for them.

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Still, try to make time for them when you can. Remind yourself that they would do the same for you and that they don't have to be understanding, even though they are.

8. You can be there for people without trying to fix them.

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The people who truly love and care for you won't ask you to fix them in the first place. All you need to do is to be a shoulder to cry on and a good listener in order to be there for someone. Your real friends won't expect you to fix their problems.

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10 Things You'll Recognize If You Grew Up In A Small Town

Those stop signs were more like suggestions.
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Whether you're from the Northwest or Southeast, all small towns share basically the same characteristics.

From hanging out at car washes to eating endless meals at that Mexican restaurant, if you're from a small town, you'll probably relate to one (if not all) of these things:

1. Yes, that Mexican restaurant.

Whether you came here to eat after ball games or simply came because there was nothing better to do, you probably spent way to much money on burritos and cheese dip. (For real though, cheese dip was so worth that extra $3).

2. Churches. Churches everywhere.

There seemed to be more churches than people, and everywhere you went one of them was staring you in the face. At least you knew that the whole town was covered on seats when it came to Sunday services.

3. Yep, you hung out at the car wash.

For some odd reason, teenagers like to hang out at the car wash. We don't know why we did, we just did. No car every got cleaned. We just sat on our hoods or tailgates and talked or listened the music. What a wild night.

4. Quick stops.

Gas stations were called quick stops and thank God for those quick stops. You could fill up your tank and get a snack without having to drive 30 minutes to the nearest city. Plus their boiled peanuts were always the bomb. #blessed

5. "Stop" signs.

Those stop signs were more like suggestions. No cop, no stop, right? Same thing with speed limits - merely suggestions.

6. The football field.

Fall Friday nights were made for football games, and there was no getting out of it. Do any of you small town girls really remember going on a Friday night date? Yeah, me neither. Football games were the closest you were going to get to a date on Fridays. You either waited for Saturday or the end of the season. Honestly though, those Friday nights hold some of you and your friends' favorite memories.

7. The good ole grocery store.

Sorry bud, Walmart, Costo, and Kroger were 30 minutes away, and driving to the city was not about to happen. You either went to Shop and Save or Piggly Wiggly for your groceries.

8. "The park."

You either played as a kid, coached a peewee team, refereed as a teenager, or simply watched your siblings play here. No matter the case, you've been to the park, and you're lying if you say you haven't.

9. Those white welcome signs.

Literal *cringe* just looking at it. Passing this sign after coming home from the city meant you were once again stuck in this little town with nothing to do, but you honestly kind of love having nothing to do sometimes.

10. This view.

Sure, there's not a whole lot going on in your small town, but with views like this you can't complain. #NatureIsCool #SoAreSmallTowns

Cover Image Credit: Myself

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12 Ways To Save Money During The Summer When All You Want Is To Spend It

Saving is important year round, but it's most important in the summer

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Over the summer, everyone normally has more free time than during the year, and that means more time to spend more money. Saving money over the summer is important, not only so you can be prepared to pay for things in the future, but also so you can enjoy your summer and no be stressed about how much money you've spent. Saving money is something that should happen year round, but it's especially important to do in the summer.

1. Create a budget

Starting the summer off on the right foot is super important to stay on track throughout the rest of the summer. A budget is something that you should have year round, but it's important to adjust it for your summer plans.

2. And stick to it

Not only do you have to make a budget, but you have to stick to it. If you don't follow your budget, you're wasting time and money, and it's hard to keep on top of finances.

3. Take advantage of student discounts

During the summer, college students find themselves with a lot more free time than in the school year. When you're planning what to do with your extra time, make sure to look if the place offers student discounts or not. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

4. Don't always go out to eat

College students tend to spend time with their friends going out for food or for drinks, and that adds up fast. If you have friends over to cook dinner, it can be healthier and cheaper to do.

5. Sublet

If you have an apartment you're not going to be staying in, or need to stay in Columbus, it's beneficial both ways to sublet. Neither way do you have to pay full price on an apartment, and any discount, no matter how small, saves you money

6. Take day trips

Obviously, no one wants to stay in one place the whole summer, but travel is super expensive. By going on day trips you get to see more of the state or city, but you don't have to pay for lodging overnight. It's a good way to get out without eating into your budget.

7. Walk around

Columbus has great parks and trails that not enough people think about using when they're planning what they want to do. If you walk around outside, you can spend as much time you want there and you don't have to pay anything.

8. Split costs with friend

Do both of you need a Hulu and a Netflix account? Why not share the costs and the passwords with each other, so that you both can save some extra cash in the future. This doesn't just have to be with streaming services, but it can apply to food and parking costs as well.

9. Don't impulsively buy big items

Maybe you've worked a ton recently to start saving for summer, or you have graduation money flowing in. You feel like it doesn't matter how much you spend, but it does. If you hold off on those purchases, and you save your money, you'll be in a better spot financially at the end of the summer.

10. Get a job

The obvious one. If you're doing an unpaid internship or your normal job isn't offering you many hours, then getting a second job where you can work to have a little more money can help you achieve your savings goal.

11. Don't be too hard on yourself

The hardest part of setting goals is when you don't achieve them. Even if you haven't saved exactly as much as you wanted, making even a small change can help your financial wellbeing and can be enough to make small changes in the future.

12. Don't force yourself to make big changes

Everyone's saving tips to Millennials are to stop getting coffee every single day from places like Starbucks. While cutting down on spending in these ways will greatly help you save money, it's not the only thing that will help. There's no reason to make yourself miserable in order to follow the rules of someone else for a small change financially.

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