6 Life Lessons I've Learned In My 20 Years

6 Life Lessons I've Learned In My 20 Years

Everything happens for a reason and people make mistakes. Cliche, yes, but also very true.

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The time has come when I am finally leaving my teenage years behind; I am able to look back on how many things I have done and experienced throughout my years thus far. Although many of these sayings are cliche and have been spoken a thousand times, they're something everyone needs to hear. I've gone through heartbreak, losses, and the whole nine yards. Through the good times and the bad, these are the life lessons that I've learned in my 20 years.

1. Everything Happens For A Reason

Although somethings are hard to overcome, one thing that I have always told myself is "everything happens for a reason". Cliche, yes, but it's true! Although we don't understand why some things have happened to us, it is important to keep faith and realize that it was meant to happen. I can't even explain to you the amount of times I've said "why me?" or "why would He let this happen to me?". And while one thing can seem as though it is the biggest thing in the world, try to put in in perspective—is this really going to affect you in a year from now? Just think about it...

2. This Too Shall Pass

Similar to "everything happens for a reason", whatever you are going through will come to an end. Even when you feel as though your situation is never ending, just remember that it will, it just takes time. Patience is everything and although there are people that wish to control everything in their lives (like me), some things we just cannot avoid. This too shall pass, have patience.

3. Your Mental Health Is More Important Than Your Grades

Every semester, I find myself struggling to have better grades and having higher goals. While these are all good things, it can be hard and stressful on not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. I have found myself having panic attacks when I feel as things just get too hard and I am stretching myself way too thin. What you need to realize is that nothing is more important than your well-being. In addition to that—YOU NEED SLEEP! Although some believe that they are invincible, every one needs sleep and that time to relax and step away.

4. People Make Mistakes

We have all had those people that we have sworn off and never talked to again. While everyone has a different reason for certain situations, realize that everyone makes mistakes. This doesn't mean that you have to forgive this person or accept what they did, but it does mean that you have to realize that the only way people learn is from their mistakes. Some have done worse than others, and I understand that. But just remember that no one is perfect, and we are all bound to make mistakes at some point in our lives.

5. Learn The Balance Between Saying "Yes" And "No"

Stretching yourself out way too thin is something everyone can relate to. I've gone out when I had an exam the next day, when I shouldn't have, and I've stayed in when I had nothing better to do than watch Netflix. While there are people that struggle to say "no", it is very important to say it every once in a while. Whether you want to believe it or not, some times you aren't capable to doing everything. And while there are 24 hours in a day, those days can sometimes feel as though they are traveling as quickly as light. Learn when to say "yes" and "no", trust me, its a great skill to have.

6. You Don't Owe Anyone An Explanation

While people reach far and wide for excuses, it is completely normal to not want to leave the house, or just want to have alone time. Others will try to pin it on themselves thinking that you do not want to hang out with them or "don't like them", but it's not about them! Sometimes you want to do certain things and you don't owe anyone an explanation because it's your life! While they can get upset at you, are they really who you want in your life if you feel as though you need to lie to them just so they don't get mad at you, or will think different of you? It's your life, live it as you please.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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There Is No 'Right Way' To React To A Shooting

Everyone is different.

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After the shootings this year in New Zealand, Brazil, and close to home for some of us Aurora, people have been reacting in different ways. With some offering their thoughts and prayers, donating money to help pay for the funerals of the victims, fighting for action in regards to ending gun violence, candlelight vigils basically anything that can help them in this time of grief.

There is no right or wrong way to react to a shooting — everyone grieves in their own ways. We should not judge one another for how we grieve in a tragedy.

People have been saying that thoughts and prayers won't do anything. However, maybe it can be a comfort to some people—a way to let people know that they are thinking of them and that they care.

Sometimes people may want to donate money or blood to help out any survivors who may have suffered from blood loss or create GoFundMe accounts to either help out with medical expenses or to pay for the funerals of the victims or even start charities like Islamic Relief USA. Donating your time and money is a good way to help out because you are making a difference that is a form of action you are taking.

There is also grieving in the form of vigils. One example of a vigil is this guy who makes crosses every time there is some kind of tragedy. Vigils are often a good way to remember the victims, to pray for the healing of the survivors, to talk about what they were like as people.

Some people even want to take action by demanding that the laws change a good example of this would be March for Our Lives, which happened after the Parkland shooting last year. This march was fighting for gun control or should I say changes in the gun laws America currently has.

Some people also do acts of solidarity, for example, wearing a hijab like the prime minister of New Zealand did when she went to go visit the Christchurch shooting survivors. My community college had something a couple of years ago called Hijab Day to help show solidarity with our friends. I participated, and it was quite an experience—no one should ever be afraid to be who they are.

There is never a right or wrong way to react, and no one should ever criticize one another for how they react. It's not a test where there is a right or wrong answer—everyone is different and that is okay.

No one should ever have to be afraid to go to school, go to work, or go to their place of worship or wherever they decide to go. Whatever we decide to do to make a change, as long as we are taking some kind of action, is good enough for me.

Nothing ever gets done by sitting around and doing nothing, so whatever it is you do, get out there and do it. As long as you are showing support it doesn't matter how you show it.

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