From Joy, to Failure, to Lust: Things I've Experienced This Semester







     Growing pains.

        Learning through experience.

         Passive income.



This semester, I underwent an internal makeover. I look at my past self and recognize her as someone who is never coming back. I have developed necessary life skills: I learned how to be on time, study in a loud room, and get creative when there were no dietary accommodations. I never realized the importance of learning how to be self-sufficient until I actually had to. It was a transition, and I consider myself a late bloomer since I was always babied as a child. I have learned not to judge myself for not knowing how to do some tasks I feel should have already been mastered. Since we are all unique individuals traveling in time, I learned how to be gentle with myself during learning. I’ve developed a safe mental environment where I’m excited to learn and never ashamed to ask questions because if you never ask, then you’ll never know for sure. This applies to anything you can think of. In order to grow, we must question things around us, and be willing to view life from different perspectives. This way of life breeds happiness and fulfillment.



I also learned how to stop taking things personally, and came to the firm realization that people’s actions do not revolve around me. It’s easy to feel like people are intentionally trying to spite you, inconvenience you, or just be mean for the sake of boosting their own self-esteem or ego. And yes, this may be true sometimes because not everyone is nice. With a change of mindset, and refraining from taking people’s actions personally, it has totally shifted my general sense of well-being. And no, that’s not to say I never get annoyed by others. I do quite a lot, and more often than I’d like to admit, but generally less than I have in the past. It’s like the anxious and angry palpitations just come over me. Like when I see someone wearing a Canada Goose jacket, I just want to scream in their face. Other random acts annoy me without my consent. It’s like I don’t want to feel frustrated and upset, but I just do. And it’s god awful. So I practice. I practice empathy and kindness and keeping my body calm. I practice wishing others healing through their pain, because their lack of tenderness is a result of pain in their lives. I try to be present and acknowledge my feelings and physical state of being. I notice the physical tension held in my body and I tell myself gently to release it, in an effort to prioritize my physical and mental health. I don’t promote toxic positivity. I think it’s important to feel and work through the horrible feelings that are apart of the human experience so we can better cope. So I’ve done a lot of that this semester. I recognize when it’s time for a mental break and try to do things that will definitely raise my vibration and mood. I sing a song or take a shower, have a snack, or write. I drink some tea or call a friend. I put some music on and dance like crazy or I stretch. Find what suits you.

That’s not all I learned this semester.

I learned about mutual respect, feminism, and what is feels like to be discriminated against for being in a minority, as a vegan and an animal activist. I learned more about where my food came from, and how the government is poisoning us all from the food in our grocery stores, to the ingredients in our household cleaners, etc. I connected with animals. I learned about the importance of democracy and team work (which I was blessed to have the hardest working, and most considerate coworkers I could have asked for) by working for The Daily Targum Referendum. The experience taught me so much about how I choose to deal with conflict and how others do the same. It felt good to learn. I learned about professionalism, and how to establish boundaries. I connected with my ‘self’ and my higher source. I meditated, quite a lot, and I felt spiritually enlightened.

I pushed my mental boundaries and exercised my intellect and self discipline. I pushed. I applied my courage and mental strength to various situations. I tried to make up for what I consider lost time. I refused to give up until I reached my goal. I did whatever it took to achieve success. I made sacrifices to put myself ahead. This had to be the most difficult thing to practice, and I am still very far from mastering it. From small things like refraining from looking at my phone in the morning, to trying to remain focused while I work, it didn’t happen overnight. I learned how to appreciate small victories and baby steps, even if they seemed trivial in that moment. In doing that, I keep myself motivated and refrain from comparing myself to others. Learning the difference between intellect and intelligence is something I have never even questioned before this semester.  

I have experienced true, loyal, and beautiful friendship. Yes, of course I have amazing friends from my past. When you gain new friends after a shift in personality, it is especially lovely. My wonderful “Sacred Sistars” and friends from Yoga and Reiki Club at Rutgers University have made me a better person. Whether it be hitting the bars, grabbing lunch, or just talking about life, I have developed memories that will guide me through the rest of my human journey, and have adopted lifestyle habits and practices thanks to these amazing people I have come across. It brings me happiness to be surrounded by such a divine group of people because it helps me grow and get out of my comfort zone, trying new things. I am thankful and I am blessed. I realize not everyone is lucky enough to form deep relationships with people in college. I am appreciated and I am loved and I have learned that people will always accept me for my true self, because they have time and time again. Being me has never been so easy. And I know not many people can say that. I have learned to love being me, with my temper, my quirks, the intensity I bring to life and the hugs I give. I love me so it’s easy for others to love me. I love feeling and giving love, especially to my friends.


I endured heartbreak, pain, anger, frustration, doubt, sorrow, and all the other negative things an average human experiences from time to time. Some things were not fair. Some things just sucked. Some people were assholes. Many experiences were lessons, and the sting wore off after a while. I grew stronger and wiser and learned from my mistakes. I tried not to make the same mistakes, but honored them as a lesson and a thing of the past. I learned about other people, and their passion behind decisions they make. I know I am unable to control or change anyone, and it is up to me and only me to decide how I react. I know that no one can make me feel a certain way, and that I am in full control of my physical reality. Yes, I complain. Yes I get pissed off. I get knots in my stomach when people say ignorant or mean things. I feel sad and drained when I think too much about social issues that can be corrected easily with some money and willpower. There have been times when I’ve been doubtful of my abilities and successes, and frustrated by the deck I’ve been dealt. I’ve been mad over money, and jealous over others’ journeys because on the surface they seemed happier than me. Pain leads to growth. Without sadness, you cannot truly appreciate and understand true love and happiness. I am grateful for all the painful things I’ve ever experienced, whether it be a minor annoyance or an event that drove me to tears for days. It makes me grow.

Overall, this semester has granted me immensely important life skills and wisdom that simply cannot be taught in a classroom. Although I knew this already, I was reminded that everyone goes through shitty situations and lives through it, because in the grand scheme of things, sometimes things that seem like major life influencers are really so unimportant. I recognize that no one is ever finished growing. I respect my journey, and try hard to refrain from comparing myself to others. This is a constant battle, but I practice self love and always continue to better myself. I try to understand other people more and their motive for doing the things they do. This isn’t easy, but I still try. If I learned anything of value this semester, it’s that I know for certain that I never want to stop growing. I hope that you recognize you feel the same way too.

One thing I recommend doing is to stop doubting your uniqueness. We are often shamed for being weird or different, but we must remember that boring, average, or typical people are not the ones who change the world. Extraordinary individuals do. People who don’t care what others think of think and beat to the rhythm of their own drum are the ones who easily have successful endeavors.

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder. “

-Ronald Reagan


Xo, Susie