A Mindset To Take With Us Into The New Year

A Mindset To Take With Us Into The New Year

Resolutions are overrated anyway.

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A new year is right around the corner and we're just about ready to kiss 2018 goodbye. It's unrealistic to categorize an entire year as one of the best or one of the worst, but I certainly had many experiences this year that resembled both.

In this new year, I've decided to take my experiences, both good and bad, and develop a mindset that will promote the healthy lifestyle I've been wanting to lead.

Just because something does not work out now, does not mean that better things are not yet to come.

It's so easy to focus on the downside of a situation when it seems as though all could go wrong. Facing a loss, whether it be a romantic relationship, the death of a family member, or losing your best friend, may seem insufferable, but there is always happiness to come.

And trust me, I know, in the brink of the darkness it's hard to see any hope of light, but that doesn't mean you will never be happy again. Some of the best moments I have had in these past few months have happened due to some of the most painful losses.

As one person exits your life, another person will enter. I met my two lifelong best friends here at Syracuse at the cost of losing someone who meant the world to me. Heartbreak is an unwelcomed pain at any point in time, especially during the adjustment to college, but it would not have been possible without Trevor and Angelina.

Without having faced that loss, I would have not found the positive side of things. I learned that life will never throw something at me that I cannot handle. There is a reason for every event that occurs in our lives and after this year I truly believe that every hardship we face only builds us up to become stronger people.

Live in the moment and stop focusing on the past.

Focusing on the past, only prevents the potential for future growth.

I have a bad habit of opening up my camera roll or Snapchat memories and looking back at how things were a year ago. While looking back on memories may bring up feelings of nostalgia, it isn't healthy to focus on what was.

2019 is a time for what is. College is a privilege and opportunity. It may bring about hardships and adjustments since there are growing pains to any change throughout life, but the past is the past for a reason and the only beneficial thing to do is learn from it.

Hold onto the true friends in your life.

This one is for my hometown BFFs, you know who you are.

In high school, I had friends in various friend groups and had never been the type of person who liked to stick to one group of people as that's how stereotypes, drama, and sometimes negative reputations start to form. Every person that I have come across in high school has impacted my life in a different way, but these girls are absolutely ride or die.

We each became close at different points in high school, but now on holiday breaks and through the daily bullshit, I don't know what I would do without them. I have never met eight girls so loyal to each other through every ridiculous situation. Our group chat is an absolute no judgment zone and nothing is an off-limits discussion.

Looking back on this year, I see the people who came and went, and I am so grateful for these girls being a constant in my life. If you have the same type of people in your life, never let them go.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

I remind myself of this one on the daily. So the guy you like is posting up with his girlfriends or someone made a rude comment behind your back; in the grand scheme of things, it isn't worth wasting your time or breath.

Putting life into perspective helps to understand what should be prioritized and what should be let go of. It may seem like the end of the world when someone insults you, but it truly isn't. I think back to six months ago about the menial drama I dealt with and how each person involved in certain situations hold no relevance in my life now.

As soon as I stepped foot on my college campus, my life change. The people who you once walked the halls with will only be a mere memory and the same goes for the petty drama in college.

Coming from someone who cares deeply about their reputation, I found it to be exhausting to have to confront every little snide comment or rude remark on behalf of a mistake or personal opinion. As they say, lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

I am heading into a new year unconcerned with unprecedented opinions and focusing on what really matters.

Guard your heart.

This one, above all else, will be mantra throughout 2019.

Whether it be a new love interest or even new friends, sometimes it's important to be a little skeptical before opening yourself up to someone. This isn't to say put up walls and never let anyone in, but often times you find yourself trusting the wrong people and end up screwed over when all is said and done.

Finding the right people in your life is a different journey for everyone, but with this new year approaching it's important to know for yourself the type of energy you surround yourself with.

As the door to 2018 is being closed, I am welcoming 2019 with open arms. It's time to exhale the bullshit 2018 so lovingly provided and start new with true friends and a better mindset.

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.

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Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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