Wasted Time: What I Wish I Understood Before I Was A Senior

Wasted Time: What I Wish I Understood Before I Was A Senior

Take the leap of faith and do it.
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Dear Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors,

Don’t let fear control you. It’s a waste of time and you’ll ultimately be filled with regret. Fear keeps us from doing things that would benefit us and shape us into better human beings. Throughout junior high and high school, I felt stupid academically because I seriously sucked at math and science and never felt as smart as my peers. When I started college, I wanted to prove myself academically so I poured my everything into my classes and studies. I didn’t make friends and I didn’t participate in any clubs or activities. Even though I would spend hours and hours on a single basic assignment, I was still afraid of being looked at as stupid so I never raised my hand in class. I kept my mouth shut in hopes that I could just quietly get through college with a 4.00.

While my grades were outstanding, I was empty. I wasn’t fulfilled in my work and I knew I was lacking something. That something was friendship and wanting to be involved. I remember during my sophomore year, in my first communications class with Professor Farmer, she called on me and internally I began freaking out. I slowly and quietly answered her question and then started to breathe again. I realized that it wasn’t so bad and after that I began to feel more comfortable in class. The following semester I actually branched out and met people and made friends. However, I still hung on to my fear of not being good enough if I didn’t get all A's, because I believed that I was somehow proving something to someone.

It wasn’t until the beginning of this past spring semester that I realized what I had done to myself. I wasn’t getting nearly enough sleep, my diet was horrible, and I wasn’t exercising. I spent the vast majority of my time sitting because I had to make sure that my assignments were perfect before I turned them in. This was before I got sick. I woke up one morning in January with chills, aches and swollen lymph nodes. When it became apparent that I wasn’t getting better and my lymph nodes were only becoming more swollen, I finally went to the doctor. Two appointments and one procedure later, I found out that I had a 2cm nodule on my thyroid that needed to be biopsied. All of sudden I realized that I actually needed to take care of myself physically. I had become so wrapped up in my grades and keeping my 4.00 that I neglected the other aspects of my life. My health had suffered because of my poor choice of priorities and I was filled with regret as a result.

So my advice to you freshmen, sophomores, and juniors is this: Don’t let fear of embarrassment, failure, or rejection keep you from doing things outside of your comfort zone. You’ll look back on all the opportunities and wish you could go back and try them out. Don’t be filled with regret. Take the leap of faith and do it. And also make sure to take care of yourself. You don’t want to end up with a health scare to make you realize that it’s time to let go of your GPA. I’m not saying don’t try your best and forget about your grades. What I’m saying is don’t let it become your god, because it’s not worth it. What you do for others and the impact you can have on those around you is so much more important than a number on a resume or transcript. Don’t let fear control you.

Cover Image Credit: Cassidy Rich

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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