It's Totally Okay to Be Alone

I was in a relationship for almost all of high school. I found myself constantly needing a partner because of the security it lent me. I felt beautiful based on the attention from that particular person. It was never intrinsic to me. 

Before college, my boyfriend and I thought that we needed to end things but remain friends because we were both in need of soul searching. This is very common in a lot of high school relationships. It was very scary for me to break up with him because I felt so exposed to the world. I really didn't know what it was like to live apart from him. Our relationship never felt toxic. We always had amazing memories that I still cherish to this day. However, under the surface, a lot of my happiness was dictated by him. 

Starting freshman year of college without him as my guide, I often made a lot of poor decisions. I let my GPA fall and everything I was passionate about seemed to no longer give me happiness. I asked myself how I could let all my stability fall into the hands of one person. Is the mediocrity I was experiencing truly what I was without him? No, it wasn’t. It happened because I really didn't live independently in my relationship. After first semester, I promised myself that I would live independently. I would find my happiness in the very aspects of life. There are many ways in which I was able to achieve this level of happiness but I still can sometimes get distracted. We are all human. Now, this is an example of dependency in a romantic relationship but this same dependency can be found in friendships and family too.

The first piece of advice is to act genuinely. I see girls and boys acting based on what others expect of them. If you don't agree with something that someone says, don't nod your head as if you agree. Whether you choose to argue against it or not is up to you but don't give people a false impression of yourself. When you live genuinely, you are living independently. Often times in college, we go out to make friends on the weekends. I think it's important that we also let people see our most genuine and “soberer” side. When you are able to connect with someone without being under the influence it’s that much special. You are being brave enough to actually act genuinely. As a freshman, I feel like this is the hardest one because we want everyone to like us which ties into my second piece of advice...

Not everyone is going to like you. That is not a bad thing either. Don't find happiness in people who have talked about you or openly expressed a disliking for you. I see this, especially in women. Due to the way society has molded us to believe we need to continuously please others, we are always trying to make them like us. Why are you still talking to that person who made you feel bad for being yourself? If you don’t let that person go, I promise you it will be very hard to truly live independently. You are most beautiful as your purest self and many people can see that. Don't focus on people who can't see that. 

Find your passions. This is definitely easier said than done. It might be connected to your major but for me, it wasn’t. 

For me, I had to sign up for things I maybe wouldn't have. I believe you have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations to find your passions. I went on a L.O.V.E Trip to the borderland of El Paso to find my passion. I'm blessed enough to say that I found a passion for helping others especially migrants. Because I have this passion, no matter who or what changes in my life I know that will always make me happy. That gives me a sense of independence. Maybe for you its health, finance, literature, cooking, etc. 

Overall, these three tips have really helped me live with a healthy sense of happiness. However, let me not give you the false impression that I don't get upset over things. The happiness I'm discussing isn't permanent. There will be times where your passions might be judged or seem hopeless. There could be a time that someone doesn't like your humor or your philosophy. It might hurt but I always remember that I will be okay because my source of happiness isn't them, it's myself.