10 Small Acts Of Bravery To Help You Experience Life To The Fullest

10 Small Acts Of Bravery To Help You Experience Life To The Fullest

"You're amazing, and that's why you're taking yourself to dinner!"
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Everyone has fears, big and small. With those fears come comfort zones -- the place where we stay to relax and feel like a normal human being. Comfort zones can be nice, but I believe that people's personalities shine brightest when they step outside of that safe space. Expanding your horizons and trying something new is healthy but scary to do!

Sometimes, we just need something small to inch us across our boundary lines and into the wild, beautiful unknown! Here are a few small acts of bravery to give you that push outside your comfort zone.

1. Approach someone you think is totally out of your league

This may be a guy or gal you've always wanted to be friends with or that person you wouldn't mind having a romantic sunset picnic with. Don't be afraid to hear "no," or even to hear "yes!"

2. Stand up for someone

We've all heard someone gossip about one of our friends. Most of the time, we are inclined to say nothing and let it slide. But how would things change if we stood up for the people we love or even the ones we don't like? Standing up for someone is always worth it, even if that someone is yourself.

3. Try a new food

God has given us a world full of yummy food variety! Try a recipe from a different culture, like Thai or Lebanese or a new fruit, like dragonfruit or mangosteen.

4. Eat by yourself in a restaurant

Another food-related challenge, how exciting! The thought of eating alone in public terrifies most people because they fear being judged by other customers. Who cares what others think? You're amazing, and that's why you're taking yourself to dinner. It's important to learn to have a good time with just me, myself and I!

5. Learn a new skill

Are you the most inflexible person you know? Sign up for a yoga class! Wish you could create something with your hands? Ask grandma to loan you some knitting needles! Your new skill may come in handy someday!

6. Tell someone a secret

It can be something as small as, "I think Michael Jackson is overrated." or "I'm wearing the same pair of underwear two days in a row." Relief and a sense of trust both come with bearing our souls to others, especially when you're afraid of being judged.

7. Do something weird in public

For example, do a little spin in the grocery store aisle! My personal favorite is Home Depot (the floors are extra slippery)!

8. Say no to something

Do you really want to go to your friend's cousin's birthday party, or is your FOMO getting the best of you?

9. Take the lead

Sign up to be the head of that new project! Take that promotion at work! Teach a new extracurricular class on campus! The world needs your expertise.

10. Conquer a small fear

Hold a beetle in your hand, go knee deep in the ocean, or jump off the high dive! It probably won't hurt you.

Of course, all these small acts are easier said than done. Fear is a powerful force, but I believe that the need for a purposeful, exciting life is far greater. I think you will find that after you take on a few of these challenges, you discover things about yourself you didn't know before.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"

-Elanor Roosevelt

Cover Image Credit: Çağlar Güngelen's Instagram

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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Don't Take Living At Home For Granted

Would you rather pay for rent for the rest of your life or have to cook every meal? Neither. I'll just move home instead.

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Almost every high school senior has the same ambitions to move out and live on their own after spending the last eighteen years with their family. I remember vividly the day I moved into the dorm freshman year of college as if it was yesterday. I had my bags and boxes packed for probably a month before I moved out of my childhood home because I was so excited for a fresh start. My family helped me decorate my room and then, soon enough, they left and I was all on my own. I had the potential to do almost anything thanks to my newfound freedom.

But roommates can be even worse than siblings depending on how they act and treat you. I've had my fair share of good and bad roommates and the thing is, they are simply not family. I never realized how much I missed my family until I graduated from college. I moved home for my last semester to complete a teaching internship. By the way, unpaid internships are kind of a scam. Anyway, not having to worry about paying for rent or going grocery shopping was pretty sweet. My mom and I cooked together for the family and I was able to have my family dog to myself most of the time.

I also always had someone to talk to. There are six of us so it was rarely ever quiet in the house. I probably call my mom at least once a day to update her on what I'm thinking of doing that day so it wasn't much different, other than we talked in person rather than on the phone. As an extrovert, I get lonely easily so it is vital that I have someone around. However, it has always been hard for me to make friends that last. My family is there for me even when my friends cannot be. Being able to vent to my family is like free therapy.

Since I am the second oldest child, my younger siblings are still growing up and I was able to be a part of their childhood by living at home again. I was not able to bond as much with them since they are much younger than me so being home allowed me to make lifelong memories with them. It is crazy to me that simply being away for four and a half years made such a difference. So much had changed, such as my family's routine. I had to relearn how to live at home in order to fit into the family mold they had created while I was away.

Looking back now, I have realized that I do not want to become an adult because even though there is a sense of autonomy I would rather have my mom be in charge and have less to worry about. I did not realize how much I took for granted in my childhood so thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving me such an amazing life.

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