Feels Like The Very First Time: A List Of Important Firsts

Feels Like The Very First Time: A List Of Important Firsts

Firsts everyone experiences and why they are so important to who you are today.

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Well, here it goes. A new adventure in life.

Like all good adventures, there's an equal chance of incredible success or monumental failure. Fortunately, I'm one of those idiotically optimistic individuals who's excited about both possibilities. Since it's officially the first article I've ever written, I feel as if it's only appropriate to write about some universal firsts I've experienced that affect all of our lives at some point.

I know, I know. What can I say? I am a creative genius.

Sadly, some of these important firsts just pass us by without us ever realizing it. However, if you looked back at your years of experience so far, I guarantee you would be able to point to certain moments in your life and say, "That right there. I am a better version of myself because that happened to me."

Whether it pains you to recall it or not, your firsts are a big part of who you are today. Don't bury those moments away with your other mortifying memories. Embrace them.

So, without further ado, here are some firsts I find pretty important:

Your first crush.

… And your first subsequent heartbreak (unless you're really, really lucky). *sigh*

The idea of love is so prominent in your mind that you find yourself wondering how it would be possible for you two to NOT end up together. Then, like my self-esteem after watching the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, all of your romantic dreams come crashing down.

Once the pain subsides and you find your heart still beating, blood still pumping, and lungs still breathing, you are wiser. Realizing that your happiness lies in your own choices, not someone else's, can be a hard concept to grasp sometimes. However, you have to learn it eventually.

So, thank that first grader who told you that you have cooties and broke your fragile, kindergartener heart. They made you a better person.

The first sport you play.

Sports have exemplified so many important lessons over the years. They wouldn't make so many inspirational movies about them if they didn't. I've learned to put forth my best effort at all times, spend each moment of my life as if it were the last, and to be patient with others. The most important lesson playing sports taught me, however, which my eight-year-old self was disgustingly shocked to discover, was that the world did not revolve around me.

Each sport, even seemingly individual ones like golf and tennis, has some sort of team behind them. We are all merely team players. I don't mean any of this in a pessimistic way. You should be open to allowing both yourself and others to succeed at the right times. Finding joy in others' success will make you so much more peaceful with your own life. Remove the selfishness and envy and make room in your heart to care for the happiness of those around you.

Your first big disappointment.

If you're a dreamer like me, then this first may really hurt you. You've held your expectations far too high, and only when they are cruelly obliterated do you realize your mistake. Then, regardless of the pain, you make the mistake over and over again. I'm here to tell you that, yes, even the worst occasions of your life are beneficial to you.

While I am a firm believer in tough love and learning things the hard way, I also have, over a long, long, long, period of time, come to realize that some awful things were meant to happen for a reason. When you make peace with the constant possibility of disappointment, you become much more content with your life. I like to think of a saying I read years ago that reads, "If it won't matter three years from now, then don't let it affect your life today." Maybe it was meant to be, and maybe something better is waiting for you right around the corner.

Your first big success.

I'm not proud to admit that I coasted into high school off of awards I'd earned and recognition I'd received in middle school. When I arrived, I discovered that no one actually cared about my life before high school. All that mattered was who I was in that moment and how I could make use of my opportunities in the present.

That is exactly the problem with success, fame, and fortune. It's all fleeting. While your failures do not define you, neither do your achievements. They are a big part of your past, and you should be proud of them. However, they are mere fragments of the story of your life, and you are so much more than them. Do not let the past keep you from living in the present.

Your first day of college.

Wow, I can remember it as if it were only seven months ago. How do I describe this accurately? It was like watching a football fly through the air and then realizing far too late that its projected landing point is your face. I had done everything to prepare myself for college physically, but I had forgotten all about emotional preparation. I found myself suddenly alone in a 10-by-11-foot dorm room with a roommate I barely knew, preparing to both rush a sorority and begin taking classes for my future job. Talk about pressure.

Going to college is a significant change in anyone's life. Not until you're thrown into the deep end without a life preserver will you discover that everything you've learned in life has led up to this moment. Your first taste of freedom and individuality is scary, but oh so crucial to your personal development. Once you make it through the first semester you realize that if you can adapt to college, you can adapt to anything.

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A Letter To High School Seniors On Graduation Day

The rest of your life begins today.
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Dear High School Senior,

Today's the day you've been waiting for your whole life. You'll wake up a little earlier than usual, brush your teeth and go downstairs for your last breakfast as a high school student. Your mom will look at you with tears running down her cheeks wondering how her baby grew up so quickly. Your friends will be texting your group message non-stop with words of disbelief, wondering where the time went. You guys made it to the day you've been counting down to all year long.

You'll start to reminisce on things like your first pep rally and the dorky outfits you wore freshman year. You'll laugh at things your old teachers did and remember the ones who left to teach somewhere else. You'll wonder how the guys in your grade actually managed to grow up and laugh at how young you all looked when you had just begun. You'll remember all of the football games you attended and consider how strange it will be seeing other people wearing your guy friends' numbers when the Thanksgiving game rolls around. You'll drive by the soccer field and think of all the blood, sweat and tears you gave to it over your high school career.

You'll recall your first real kiss and joke about how upset you were when the first boy broke your heart. It'll feel like yesterday when you walk through those doors for the final time and look around at all of the empty lockers. You'll gather with your classmates together in the same place for the last time and think about how you're all going to be in different places next year. You'll be excited but nervous because in a few hours, life as you know it will change.

So before you sit down to hear the Valedictorian's speech and walk the stage to receive your diploma, make sure you take the time to appreciate the memories you made in those halls. Thank your teachers, even the difficult ones, because when you're sitting down in your first college class, you'll feel grateful for the work they made you do. Thank your parents for supporting you. It's not easy raising a teenager, but they did not give up on you regardless of how brutal puberty was.

Thank your friends. They're the ones that got you through your first heartbreak and made sure that you were going to be okay. They listened to your complaints after a big fight with your mom, even if they thought you were wrong. They forgave you when you were wrong and understood your bad days. They stood up for you when you got yourself in a bad situation. They brought you coffee when you didn't have time to get it yourself. They took you home when you couldn't make it there alone. They celebrated your good news and helped you through the bad. They made you laugh uncontrollably and created memories that you'll hold on to forever. They made you who you are today.

After you receive your diploma and throw your cap in the air, make the most of the time you have left with your high school friends before you all head off to college. You only have a few months before you're sitting in a dorm room surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Work, but don't forget that memories last longer than money. Go to the beach, take lots of pictures, go out on Friday nights and enjoy the days that summer has to give. Trust me, college will be awesome, but you'll never be the same person that you are today.

Sincerely,

Your College Self

SEE ALSO: 11 Pieces Of Advice All High School Students Need To Hear

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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