Choosing Yourself

The thought of moving away from home and dramatically throwing yourself into adulthood when coming to college is a choice that many are happy to make. Personally, college was where I could start over. College is where I got to choose who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, and why I wanted to do it. For the past 3 years, I felt like I wasn’t really given a choice. I didn't have the college life that many of my peers had due to the fact that I kept treating life like a race. I was so worried about how people perceived my life and what they thought about me that I beat into my head that it was selfish to choose myself. As a result of this sure I survived my first 3 years and don’t get me wrong I made some really great memories, but I knew that I could do more. Choosing yourself isn't selfish it means you get to finally live how you want. If you want to choose you then here are my 5 ways that helped me choose myself: 


1. Relax 

Relaxing is easier said than done I know, but relaxing in college is something many of us forget to do. Relaxing for me meant grabbing a book and reading until my eyes got tired. This might not be your thing but it could be as simple as binge-watching Disney+, a quick nap, meditation. Online shopping. Relaxing doesn’t have to be a trip to the spa but it certainly could be for some.


2. Find Your Support System

Sometimes we feel all alone, but in reality, most of us have various support systems. My parents are a huge support system to me as well as my roommates. I don’t know how I’d be able to choose what’s best for me without a little guidance from time to time. I know that many of us feel like they don’t have a support system but there are other people who feel the same. A support system can be honestly whatever you want it to be. It could even be a dog if that's what you feel makes you comfortable.


3. Distance Yourself From Negativity

Distancing yourself from negativity is a really hard thing to do but, it was one of the most important decisions when choosing yourself. In this day and age, we have so many opportunities to be submitted to toxic and negative things. Negative things can mean anything from toxic relationships with people to seeing toxic things in the news and on social media. One of the hardest things for me this year was to delete Facebook off my phone. Facebook was one of the things that I would look at constantly. I would look at it when placed in awkward situations or situations that I didn’t want to be social in. I would turn towards Facebook and look at all these other people who got 1000 likes where I only got 40 at the most. Because of this it changed my thinking and chipped away at my mental health. After choosing myself and stepping away from the constant bombardment of negative thoughts I felt so much happier and less stressed to look and act a certain way.


4. Find Your Outlet

My outlet for me has always been either sports or writing. I know for many this isn’t your outlet, and that's ok. When choosing myself I had to find different outlets then just sports or writing. I had to do this because I was so stressed that I couldn’t find joy in either of those things anymore. There are many outlets that I’ve found over the years such as Paint and sipping, hiking, baking, playing board games with friends, going to the zoo or museum, or even just going out of my way to make someone’s day better than my own.


5. Learn To Move On

My last piece of advice is to move on. When I feel down, I ask myself, “What’s wrong at this very moment?” 9 times out of 10 I’m overthinking the situation. My downfall is that I have an overactive imagination. When I'm upset normally it’s either about something in the past or something that even hasn’t happened yet. I say this because nothing is wrong with me at this moment I’m just worrying that something is yet to come. We can’t change the past and yet it’s ironic that it is one of the things I worry about the most. If and I mean IF there is something wrong in that exact moment then breathe, remove yourself from the situation if you have to. It’s not a bad thing to take a step back and say, “Hey I can’t deal with this right now let me come back to it tomorrow.” Even if it’s not tomorrow if it’s a week or a month it doesn’t matter as long as you realize and grow from it. Give it some time. Everyone has different ways of moving on and being a better version of themselves. It's hard to change until you do it, then it's hard to change back. We are all human it’s ok to struggle from time to time. Look after yourself and your mind. Just breathe.


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