Throughout my high school experience and carrying into college, I partied to my heart’s desire. I attended all the keggers and never missed a chance to be stupidly intoxicated with my friends. This is pretty typical of the average college student and in a way almost encouraged by the atmosphere. Then one semester, my “cool college girl” lifestyle for the first time was embarrassing to me. As I attended the first day of my new classes and the professor asked us to share something we were proud of recently, I could not think of an answer. I was at a complete loss. All I did was party with my friends, sleep in the whole next day, and barely make time for my responsibilities.

The fellow students in the class were sharing amazing milestones that they had achieved and I panicked to think of something half way impressive to say. Based on the life I was living, the only thing I honestly could be proud of was finishing a six pack without throwing up. This moment changed my perspective on everything. I realized that I did not have anything to be proud of because I did not do anything that was interesting or impressive whatsoever.

I decided that day that I had to stop indulging in these self-destructive behaviors and do something worth being proud of. I immediately declared my major and started making my grades a priority instead of a second thought. I picked up healthy new hobbies instead of drowning my body in alcohol. These few minor lifestyle changes made such a difference that I never expected. By indulging in healthy activities, I raised my GPA, lost weight, and built stronger relationships with my family members. My mind became clear and I finally had real accomplishments to be proud of. The time spent in college is so precious, it is the time to “miss out” on parties and bust your ass so you can have an amazing life afterward. I decided to stop wasting both my parents' and my money and make myself and them proud. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the college party lifestyle and not even realize the damage you are doing to yourself in the long run.

So, I challenge you to ask yourself, “what am I most proud of recently?” If you cannot think of an answer, chances are you are not living the healthiest/happiest life you could be. This simple question changed so many things for me and I hope that it can do the same for others who are in the similar place I was. Indulge in things that make you feel accomplished the following day, not ashamed. A slight change in perspective can make all the difference during this crucial time of your life.