You're Not Coal, Stop Putting So Much Pressure On Yourself To Become A Diamond

You're Not Coal, Stop Putting So Much Pressure On Yourself To Become A Diamond

I wish that I had lived in the moment and embraced being a kid instead of trying so hard to be a mature adult.

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Recently, I have been feeling exponentially overwhelmed. At nineteen, I'm graduating this spring with my bachelor's degree, I have no idea what I'm doing, how I'm going to reach my goals, or where I'm going. Am I going to get a full-time job? Am I going to join the Peace Corps? Am I going to move to Hawaii and live a life completely off the grid, eating mangos, and surfing all day? (I wish)

I have no freaking clue, and I'm sure most of you are feeling the same way.

Growing up, I put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself. To get straight A's, excel at sports, be part of ASB, get scholarships, and go above and beyond with every task I was given. I wanted to be the perfect student/daughter/sister/friend and this mindset wrecked me. One time, during my junior year of high school, I got a C in a math class that I was struggling with and I was completely DESTROYED. I had never got a grade below an A- before and I beat myself up for weeks because I thought that I was a failure.

I so wish I wouldn't have put all of my self-worth into my grades and my success at sports. I might have actually enjoyed high school and I know without a doubt that I would have been a happier teenager.

I wish that I would have lived in the moment and embraced being a kid instead of trying so hard to be a mature adult.

I'm grateful for my work ethic, but I'm quickly watching myself spiral back into this mental space of feeling like a chicken in a pressure cooker, ready to pop because I want to change the world and I have no damn idea how to do that.

It's good to be a dreamer, but if there's one piece of advice that I could possibly give, it is that I'm figuring out that you have your entire life to accomplish your goals. Just by you being happy, kind, compassionate and living your best life, you will change the world. It's a ripple effect.

You're happy, it makes someone else happy. Their happiness makes someone else happy. Like when someone pays for your drink at Starbucks and you decide to pay it forward.

I recently saw a Rumi quote that read, "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." You don't deserve all of the pressure that you are putting on yourself. Embrace the unknown. You have two options, to either be anxious or to be excited. Choose excitement.

You will accomplish great things.

You're already a diamond.

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10 Things I Learned When My Best Friend Got Pregnant In High School

In this world where you can be anything: be a friend (and be a good one).

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Life: full of amazing, unforeseen circumstances. How you roll with the punches only reveals your strength.
True friends are like diamonds: bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style." -Nicole Richie

I remember when I first heard the big news. I didn't want to believe it. My heart dropped. I was worried for you. What would happen? How would you get through this? Nothing we knew would ever be the same. Our world was about to change forever. I recalled the verse Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." I knew God was with you and would always be. I knew God needed me to be here for you, no matter what.

Turns out, you had this all in the bag. You handled everything with grace and dignity. You were strong even on your hardest days. You were overwhelmed with faith and you inspired me with your perseverance through the hardest times. I could not be more proud of who you became because of the cards you were dealt.

To Meaghan: I love you. I'm always here, no matter where. Hudson is so lucky to have you.

Here's what I learned from you and your sweet baby boy:

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the end of the world

Start making plans for the future. Pick out clothes, decorations, and toys. Help with all the madness and preparation. She would do the same for you. Plus, 9 p.m. runs to Toys-R-Us just to buy the baby some socks (because you do not know the gender yet) is always a good idea. You have to focus on the big picture. Life doesn't stop even when you want to.

2. No matter how much you want to freak out, remain calm

Getting unexpected news is never easy to hear. If needed, cry. Cry until you cannot anymore. Then, get up and be strong, she needs you. Be flexible (You want to come over to hang out? Right now? No, I'm not in the middle of ten thousand things, come on over). Be available (yes, even for her 3 a.m. insomnia calls just to see "what's up?") "Meaghan, why are you even awake right now?"

3. Radiate positivity. Always. 

This is an emotional time. The LAST thing she needs is someone bringing her down. "No, honey, you're glowing!" "You do not look fat in that bikini!!" "You are rocking that baby bump!" "Oh, that's your the third day in a row you're eating a Sonic burger for lunch? You go girl!"

4. Be ready for all the times: happy, confusing, stressful, sad, (but mostly) exciting

Mixed emotions are so hard, but look for the silver lining. With your support, she will be strong.

"Who knew picking out the brand of diapers to buy was so stressful?"

5. This world is a scary place. You never want to be all alone, so don't be. 

Like the song says, we, really do, all need someone to lean on. Just being there for someone goes a long way. "Meaghan what the heck are you doing in MY bed? How long have you been here?"

6. Lean on God. His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. 

When you don't know where to go, or who to turn to, pray! Pray for the burdens you feel. Pray for the future. Pray for patience. Pray for the ability to not grow weary. Pray for a heart of compassion. Pray. Pray. Pray.

7. Something we never knew we needed. 

Some of the best things in life are things we never knew we needed. Who knows where we would be without this sweet face?

"Hudson say Lib. Libby. L-- Come ON!" "CAT!" "Okay, that works too."

8. "Mother knows best"...is accurate, whether you believe it or not

Turns out, seventeen-year-olds don't know how to plan baby showers. Our moms have been there, done that. They want to be involved just as much as we do, so let them! Listen to their guidance. After all, they're professionals.

9. There will *almost always* be a "better way" of doing something...but, be a cheerleader, not a critic 

This is something many people struggle with in general, but it is not your DNA, it is not your place to be a critic. Let her raise her own baby. You are there to be a friend, not a mentor. ****Unless she's about to name the baby something absolutely terrible -- for the love of that baby, don't let her name that kid something everyone hates.

10.  At the end of the day, it's not what you have or what you know; rather, it is all about who you love and those who love you

Life has adapted, but for the better. We grew up, learned, and became stronger. All the while, we stayed friends every step of the way. We still have the same fun and most definitely, the same laughs.

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Goodbye Avon, Hello Athens

What I've discovered since leaving my hometown Avon, Ohio and beginning my new life as a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

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Twelve weeks ago today, I didn't know where my life would be right now. A year ago from today, I didn't know where my life would be right now. I only knew who I was then — a senior in high school. One who barely understood the idea of college and, with all honesty, didn't put much effort into trying to. I loved high school. As a freshman, I remember thinking that four years was a lifetime of... time. And for a while there, it did seem that way, time always seems that way — that is, until time runs out.

Each year passed by steadily until senior year arrived. Senior year came and left in the blink of an eye. Then came graduation, a surreal moment and spark of reality. Graduation didn't feel real. Naturally, summer followed... which was quite the drag. College gloomed over what felt like the entire summer and all of its aspects. My life slowly began fading into my future.

Eventually, my future arrived. And now, I'm living that past future. I'm here — at college — a rather long, anticipated arrival. I thought time passed rapidly in high school, but college proved me wrong. Since I've been here, imagining myself in high school is difficult. I did enjoy high school, but I did have regrets. I wasn't too involved. I didn't play sports. I didn't join many organizations. I wasn't friends with any upperclassmen. I mostly focused on my grades, only being content with them. I didn't think much of what I did mattered. And with all honesty, up until senior year, I was okay with my high school decisions. It wasn't until I started applying for college that regrets overflowed my mind.

People live on the idea that "everything happens for a reason" and I never quite caught on until after I graduated. Once I graduate, I realized that all the choices I made as a high school student, has shaped me into the better student I am here, right now at Ohio University. I can get involved — in sports, clubs, etc. I can befriend upperclassmen. I can strive for the grades I want. I can do anything I desire to as a student here at Ohio University.

So, I'd like to thank my high school self. Thank you for not caring as much as you should've. Thank you for being foolish and enjoying more of the social side of high school, rather than the academics. Thank you for trying your hardest, and understanding that it'll pay off. Thank you for choosing to attend Ohio University for the next four years.

Each year in high school brought me a new sense of happiness and knowledge that I wouldn't trade for the world. Here in college, every day is already a new adventure and each day only gets better... I can't wait to see where my journey here goes in the next four years.

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