After taking a brief recess to focus on finishing out my semester, I’m back with day 5. I wasn’t really sure what to write about, this is the 3rd post I’ve started today.. Let’s see if I can make it through just one of them. I got some inspiration from NYT and decided to talk about 19 things I’ve learned throughout my 19 years of life. I thought this was something a little different that could be insightful.. or maybe not but I guess we’ll see.
- People are not static –
The most important thing I’ve discovered about myself and other people is nothing is stationary. Not how you feel about someone, not who you’re friends with, not what you like to eat, not sexuality, not anything. Everything in someone’s life has the ability change and it’s so, so important that we remember this when dealing with difficult times with ourselves and others.
- Reading is key to learning –
I’m sure this seems unimportant or obvious to some people but I used to love reading when I was a kid and then I stopped for quite a few years. But just recently, I started reading more (mostly for class) and I think I’ve genuinely learned more in this one semester in college than all of high school… This may be a bit of an exaggeration but it feels like I’m learning more important things now. If you have a question about something or don’t understand a conflict or topic or anything, just read about it. Read about everything and the world will begin to piece together in a new way.
- Change takes time –
Nothing big or important happens over night, which something that must be kept in mind at all times. If you want to change something about yourself or your life or literally anything else, it takes work, and a lot of effort, and time. If you didn’t work hard at making a big change, you won’t be successful which will in turn make it even harder to succeed on the same or similar changes in the future. And you shouldn’t put yourself down because you didn’t change something huge in your life in an unrealistically short amount of time. Set attainable goals to work towards a bigger change in your life.
- I will always understand my experiences better than anyone else –
I spent a lot of time in high school resenting people because they didn’t understand what I was experiencing. But the truth is no one will ever truly understand your experiences, even if you explain it to them in excruciating detail, they will never be able to see anything from your perspective, because it’s yours and only yours to see from. Don’t resent others because they don’t get your experiences. The best way to allow someone to help you in times of stress is to just tell them exactly what you need in terms of support from them. This is by far the most effective way to improve friendships and your quality of life. But also, make sure you’re doing the same for them.
- I will always understand myself better than anyone else –
Very similar to 4, but differently, I know my own personality and my own intelligence and my own beliefs and my own views better than anyone I do or don’t know ever can. Don’t let other people tell you aren’t who you want to be, or whom you see yourself as because at the end of the day, it’s you living your life, not them.
- Treat your body kindly –
You’ve only got one for your whole life (at this rate that’s bound to be at least 80 years) and there’s only so much you can do to fix it when you get older. So take care of yourself while your young. Whether that be eating healthy or just making sure you eat at least twice a day, whether that’s working out or just getting out of bed in the morning. Do what you need to to be as healthy as possible in your current state of mind.
- Take the time you need to recharge –
When I was younger, I didn’t allow myself the proper amount of time to mentally recharge after socializing. There was a lot of pressure on always doing whatever my friends were but after growing up some, I need that time to myself to chill and I don’t mind not going out one weekend, or choosing to get dinner alone. Now if you’re not an introvert, needing to recharge after doing something social is going to sound ridiculous but even extroverts need a mental recharge sometimes (just not usually from socialization). Allow yourself time to relax and calm down. Binge watch a tv show, sleep, read, socialize, whatever it is, do it until you feel like your in a good spot mentally.
- Love is not always a feeling –
I don’t necessarily mean this in a romantic way, but for my life I apply this to platonic relationships. Friendships are freaking hard to maintain.. especially when you’re an introvert and can literally go days without seeing people. So you need to actively make the choice to keep in contact with friends, whether at school or at home. It you are benefiting from the friendship, it’s worth it.
- Respect others –
I would like to think of myself as having always been a respectful person, but we all have slip ups. Something I’ve learned more recently is that nobody is going to respect what you think unless you do the same for them.
- Yelling really doesn’t solve any problems –
Lord knows we’ve probably all been in our share of arguments. But increasing the volume at which you are arguing does not improve the premise which you are arguing. Remember this when people disagree with you. Ad hominem attacks are also not an effective way of getting a point across.. they mostly just piss people off.
- Don’t stress about the future –
This was probably my #1 cause of stress most of my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not a psychic and will never be able to predict the future so I should just stop worrying about it. I should continue to work hard to get where I think I want to be, but if I end up in a different place, it’s probably where I was heading all along.
- I put the most pressure on myself –
I know this isn’t true for everyone, but in my life, I end up being most stressed because I’m expecting too much of myself, setting unattainable goals, or comparing myself to other people.
- Say yes more –
This may sound dumb but to say no to experiences that have the possibility to forever change your life because you’re scared or nervous is kind of ridiculous. Like I get it to a point, especially coming from someone who still can’t make phone calls to people I don’t know because I get anxious, but if you never push through that anxiety, you will end up living in fear for much longer than you needed to.
- Say no more –
If you don’t want to do something, or can’t, or whatever, don’t dance around saying no just because you are scared of hurting someone’s feelings. They’ll be able to get over you saying no, but will you be able to do good work if you over exert yourself? You have the power to set your own boundaries and you should take advantage of that.
- For the love of God, feed yourself –
This is something I’ve struggled with an embarrassing number of times. And before you freak out, it’s not because of disordered eating, I literally just either don’t remember or can’t cook so I end up putting it off until I’m suddenly keeled over in pain because I haven’t eaten more than 1.5-2ish (if I’m lucky) full meals per day in about a week…
- Family is a constant –
In my life, I deal with the need to be independent and that doesn’t sound like a bad thing on the surface but it gets to the point where I will literally dread going home. Both because I enjoy living at school a lot and because familial relationships are difficult. But it’s important to remind myself that my family is an important aspect in my life and they will be there forever.. or at least till they die and I don’t want to ruin anything because I was too selfish to bother spending time with them.
- Its okay not to be okay all the time –
Nobody in the world is always going to be well and it’s unhealthy to push the expectation that you need to be happy all the time onto yourself. Experience your emotions as they come and understand why you feel the way you do. However, do not underestimate the realness of a problem and if something your feeling starts to interfere with your everyday life, it’s time to reach out to someone who can help you get back on your feet.
- Keep your spaces clean –
I had always heard people tell me this over and over, that clean space equals a clean mind but I never really thought this applied to my life until this semester. I truly think that when my desk or bedroom was cluttered, I was more stressed out. Which honestly works quite well because cleaning is a great de-stresser for me. But really, just keep the places your spend the most time neat and organized and your life will somehow feel more organized.
- Come as you are –
One thing I value a lot is people showing their true self to me. The last thing I want is someone in my life to feel pressured to express themselves in a way that’s not truly who they are or want to be. I try to do the same for others as I prefer not to portray myself in a way that I’m not. That’s the only way to be happy with yourself, is if you trust yourself enough to be your true self at all times possible (obviously not if it’s an unsafe situation).
So, these are a bunch of things I’ve learned and struggled with throughout my short life. I hope someone learned something about me, themselves, or someone else.
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