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.