It is crazy to think that I will be graduating from college in a little less than three months. Looking back on my life, I have realized that there are some tips and lessons that I wish my present self would’ve given me at each stage of life. I am only 20 and I still have so much to learn about myself and this world that we live in. Keeping that nostalgic feel from my article last week, here are 9 things that I’ve learned in my 20 years of life:
- Mental Health is JUST as Important as Physical Health
This is plain and simple – your brain needs a break just like any of your muscles would after an intense workout. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re lying. Take a break!
- Take Care of Your Body
As a woman, I understand all of the negative standards that society places on how our bodies should look. I spent a whole year trying to achieve what society deemed as beautiful, growing out my hair and losing as much weight as I could not because I wanted to, but because it was something that I was told I had to do. The habits I picked up in the process were incredibly unhealthy. I neglected my body and the necessities it needed to function but, I was also getting noticed. My high school brain was so confused. I got the one thing I wanted, but I wasn’t happy with my body at all. The meaning of beauty is changing. Health should always come before beauty. I was recently told to think of food as the body’s fuel. It is something that you need to function, just like a car needs gas to function. So, take care of your body. Don’t deny it the nutrients that it needs. In the end, you only get one body.
- Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
I am the type of person who fears everything because I thought it was the best way to protect myself. The only issue with this sort of mindset is that fearing everything makes it hard to live a fulfilling life. I find it valuable to just have fun. The world is ours to explore and we will have the power to do so much more once we fully let go of those doubts.
- Growing and Changing is NOT a Bad Thing
Ever since I could remember, I wanted to do whatever it took to please others. I thought that people would call me two-faced if I changed and grew into the person that I was meant to be. This was a huge mistake that ruined my high school experience. Without growing and changing, you wouldn’t be able to become the best version of yourself – you wouldn’t be able to be authentically you.
- Don’t Put Your Energy in Things You Don’t Have Control Over
As much as we would like to have control over everything in our lives, it would make life much more difficult to maintain. The only thing that we can control is ourselves. No one else and nothing else deserves to have that kind of power over us. We all know that we shouldn’t allow outside variables to affect us but, we need to be able to put that lesson into perspective and live it.
- Be Present and in the Moment
We are a generation that is attached to technology. There are times when I forget that the greatest memories are the ones that you don’t think about capturing with a photograph. Something I’ve learned within college especially is to soak in the time you have because it goes by really fast.
- Happiness is a Life-Long Journey
Growing up, I was jealous of other people’s happiness. I had always assumed that the people society deemed “happy” were destined to be happy. It took me a really long time to realize that happiness isn’t something that we are destined to have. It’s an emotion that comes and goes based on personal choices. Everyone’s happiness journey is different and there is nothing to be jealous about. The only thing that stayed in the way of me being happy was myself. You too have the power to experience happiness. Clear your path and let happiness in!
- Wait for Love to Come to You
Love is another one of those emotions that I’ve always wanted because I was jealous of those who had it. I would follow the advice and the guidance of others when it came to getting into relationships. It took me a while to realize that you cannot rush emotions. You have to let those emotions form naturally and continue to grow on your own before you grow with someone else.
- Let the People in Your Life Know That You Love Them
Life is an incredibly short and valuable thing. Our world is surrounded by hate and negativity. It took me until recently to realize that we need to start telling those around us how much they mean to us before it is too late. Being vulnerable and sharing our emotions with others is not a weakness. In fact, understanding our emotions and being able to share them so willingly is incredibly strong, and it is something that I’ve learned to value more through this pandemic. Life is an incredibly short and valuable thing. Our world is surrounded by hate and negativity. It took me until recently to realize that we need to start telling those around us how much they mean to us before it is too late. Being vulnerable and sharing our emotions with others is not a weakness. In fact, understanding our emotions and being able to share them so willingly is incredibly strong, and it is something that I’ve learned to value more through this pandemic.