Lessons I've Learned Throughout College And Life

Lessons I've Learned Throughout College And Life

Learn to enjoy life
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Well, here we are. It is the end of another school year. Usually, I am jumping for joy, but this year it became a little more sentimental... I realized that I only have one more year before I graduate and have to become a "real adult." But I'll admit that this has been the toughest semester of my college career. I worked 3 jobs along with being a full-time student.

I know. I sound crazy. But I’m here to share some things with you about my college career. The things I have learned about myself over the past 3 years of college are that I rarely say no, I have FOMO, and I hate being alone. All of these things make me a huge extrovert. But it has been one of the most rewarding things for me in college.

Let me fill you in on some lessons I have learned about how to enjoy life to the fullest over the past 3 years.

1. Your GPA is not eternal.

Remember in high school when everyone freaked out about the ACT and how important it was to get a good score? We were obsessed with getting the highest score so we could look better than our friends. We were also told that was the only way to get scholarships and get into college. We were defined by that number.

But since being in college, I can't recall the last time someone asked me about my ACT score. Why? Because it doesn't matter anymore and it never defined who I was or how smart I was.

Similarly, it seems like we are defined by our GPA in college. But I dare you to ask any college graduate about when they last discussed their GPA. I guarantee they couldn't tell remember a time or probably even remember what it was. Why? Because again, it doesn’t define who you are. I’m not telling you to fail classes, but all A's doesn't make you better than someone else. Some B’s and C’s at the end of the day are not the end of the world and will not matter after college.

2. Build relationships and make connections.

Things that do matter after college are the people you meet, build relationships with and make connections with. The world tells us it’s about how much we know and how much money we have. But I believe that it’s who you know and not all about what you know. The people you surround yourself with are the ones who make you who you are.

My freshman year I was super involved in a campus ministry. I was placed in a bible study that changed my faith drastically. I absolutely loved my bible study leader. Although we kind of lost connection after school let out that year, the following summer we rekindled our friendship and she started mentoring me. Now, I can say she’s one of my best friends. I’m even in her wedding that is in 3 months (EEEEKKK).

My sophomore year, I decided to go through with recruitment. Let me just say that was a decision I’ll never regret. My sorority has pushed me to be a better version of myself, given me endless opportunities, and given me friends who I could not live without.

This year, I finally decided on my major and they repeatedly tell us that it is all about connections to get places in our field. I truly believe that because I would not have gotten my internship for this summer had it not been for the people I knew.

The people in my life are the reason I am who I am today. The people you meet in college will probably be the ones who you didn't even realize you needed. Find your tribe and love them hard.

3. The stress is not worth it.

Stress is the devil. Most days I just have to say, “not today stress, not today." No college kid needs to stress and have grey hair by the time they graduate. This is the time before we begin reality. This is the time we should enjoy life. I used to stress so much that I couldn’t sleep, but it isn’t worth it.

Don’t stress through college about your grades, money, or friendships. Go introduce yourself to your crush, go talk to the people at that table, go apply for that dream job, go eat ice cream with friends, go to that movie even though your paper is due in 3 days. Don’t let things that you won’t remember in 5 years ruin the memories that you will want to remember. Don’t stress so much you can’t enjoy life, because that will be your regret. (Trust me, been there done that).

Friend, listen to the girl who has walked ahead of you and learned some lessons. Enjoy this time in life. Learn from others, make lifelong friends, don’t stress over the little things, and make memories to last a lifetime. Life is too short. Enjoy every moment.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Blythe

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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An Open Letter To The Person Feeling Everything Is Too Much

The strongest people to exist struggle the most.

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Hey, you.

I heard through the grapevine that life's got you in the dumps. You're feeling overwhelmed by your surroundings, stressed by your responsibilities, sensitive to the things that people are saying; everything just feels like it is too much. It almost feels like you're stuck in a room filling up with water. You know that the door opens, but you're numbed by the circumstances; you can't get yourself to take hold of that handle, so you just stand there, frozen in time. You feel the water rising up around your body, and with every inch it gains, you get even more overwhelmed. Maybe the water flooding in contains your schoolwork, your family dynamic, your drama within your friend group, your relationship status, internal anger about who you are or aren't, or hell, maybe all of these.

You feel like life is throwing rogue waves at you left and right, and you can't understand it. Why is this happening to me? Why is life trying to break me?

Well, let me tell you something that has taken me years to even grasp, let alone fully understand.

The strongest people to exist struggle the most. They are given some of the most intricately woven issues that may not have a black and white solution but live somewhere within the gray. Things pile up and upon them until everything feels like too much. And you know what they do, the strongest people to exist?

They break.

They stand there, trapped in that water-filling room, and let the water seep in. They don't open that door, they don't take the easy way out. They stand there, thinking about what is being thrown at them, not knowing what to do. They let the water overwhelm them, completely filling the room. And right when they feel that they can't take this anymore, like everything is too much, the door breaks... they break. The strongest become the weakest as they float out of the room, carried by the rushing water filled with their burdens. They lay washed up on the shore, weaker than ever... broken and cracked, frozen and numbed by life.

While they lay there broken and numb, weakness does something so immaculate and beautiful: it settles into the brokenness and the cracks like fresh, fertile soil, planting the seeds of wisdom and strength. Over time as it continues to rain, wisdom and strength grow throughout their bones like vines, making them even stronger than they were before they got trapped in that room before they broke. The strongest people to exist break frequently, so that room can be made for more love, more strength, and more wisdom than imaginable.

Now you may be thinking, why this analogy? What are you getting at?

I want you to know, and read this closely: it is okay to break. It's okay to let everything feel like it's too much because you know what? Sometimes it is, it just is. Sometimes, you have to just stand there, and let yourself feel. Let it explode and wash over you. Let it leave you cracked. Once the explosion has ridden its course. analyze the broken pieces you feel inside. Look at them individually and try to find the root of that feeling. Finding the knowledge behind that feeling means that you now know how to fight back. So you know what you do? You piece yourself back together, slowly but surely, using wisdom as the glue, and you come back stronger than ever before.

You have to break before you can grow. Let yourself feel, feel all of it. Break and be grown anew.

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