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18 Things I Learned in 2018

2018 was a very interesting year. For me, I graduated high school, traveled to different countries, and started my first year of college. It was full of ups and downs, but I continued to grow because of it. This past year was one that I will never forget, and these are just a few things I learned in 2018.


1. Family is forever

I know that’s really cliche, but it really is true. Entering college I was homesick, but I knew that I always had my family to go back to. I am eternally grateful for my family, and I know that they’ll stick with me through anything.


2. Stop trying to change things that you can’t

Life will throw so many curveballs at you. And some things, you can’t ever change. But that also doesn’t mean to take it all and settle. I’ll always try to grow from every experience to make the future my own.


3. Stop saying sorry

It’s easier said than done, but stop apologizing. Asking someone for help or getting something you want is nothing to be sorry for. The goal is to live unapologetically, and to be yourself 100%. There are more important reasons for an apology.


4. Social media isn’t everything

I mean, it feels like it is. But, it really isn’t. Everyone is addicted to his or her phone. It’s true. It’s a very scary addiction. Social media shouldn’t dictate our lives, but you’re reading this, aren’t you? In small doses, people. Small doses.


5. Smile more

Not for anyone but yourself. After all, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. If you’re having a bad day, try smiling. There are other things in your life that can cheer you up, and smiling might put you one step closer to feeling happier.


6. Talk it out

Keeping things pent up might work for some people, but for me, that is definitely not the case. So talk it out, but also…


7. Listen

Relationships and life in general is all about communication and sharing. Listening is a way to show others that you care, and having that back and forth is so incredibly important.


8. Surround yourself with people who make you happy

Toxic people suck. It’s hard to be around something that makes you feel less than, so stay away. I found that out the hard way, and while it was difficult, it was also helpful in the long run. Distance is important, and sometimes, that’s really what you need. You will always have people who will be there for you; you just have to find them.


9. Use a planner

Trust me, buying a nice planner made me more prone to using it. I feel a lot more organized and more in control of my life with it.


10. Do more of what makes you smile

I found a hobby that I love, and it’s helped me to be more creative and happy. Calligraphy and art is something I’ve always had an interest in, and this year, I started to invest more time and energy into it. Having that is exciting, and I definitely plan on doing more in 2019.


11. School is important

College! Classes! Work! Studying should always be a priority. College is about a lot of things, but studying comes up top. It’s so incredibly important, and honestly, it’s exciting to study something that you’re actually passionate about.


12. It’s okay to cry

I admit, I definitely shed a few more tears than the average person. What can I say? Some things just make me cry. But that’s okay. This year, I’ve learned that there will always be someone to lean on, and I don’t have to apologize for crying. It’s not interfering with anyone, and frankly, it isn’t their business.


13. It’s fine to not have a boyfriend

Sure, everyone I know got cuffed or is about to be cuffed, but honestly, it’s whatever. I mean, it’s not, but it is.


14. Friends are also, forever

Growing up with not many people in my town, it’s amazing to have found the friends I did. They’ve been in my life forever, and they aren’t going anywhere. They are my go-to people. I can trust them with anything, and that is something that no one can ever take away.


15. Treat yourself

Eat that extra cookie. Watch the next episode. Douse yourself in rose water. Buy that sweater that’s somehow 50% off but still expensive. Pamper yourself, because you are important, too.


16. There’s so much to see

The world is a big place. There are so many people in this world, and there is so much to see and so much to do. Traveling is so new and exciting and worth every damn penny.


17. Be grateful

Life is a gift, and there is an endless list of things to be grateful for. I have to remind myself of that because, sometimes, I forget. But really, there are so many beautiful things in life, and there is no reason that we all can’t sit for a moment to just be grateful.


18. 2018 isn’t the end

There’s always another 365 days, and another 365 days after that. The world keeps moving, and it’s our choice to keep growing and moving along with it. Every day we are presented with choices, and it’s up to us and all the lessons we learn to make the right ones.


Now, it’s 2019 and I’m already learning a lot. For example, wear butt pads when you go snowboarding, and floss every day or you’ll have to go to the dentist five times in the span of one month. But really, there is so much I’ve learned over the years, and I will never stop learning. These 18 things I’ve learned in 2018 are things I will continue to remind myself of daily. It’s important to keep in mind that there is so much opportunity in this world everywhere, and it’s the little things that matter so much.

Minji Kim

TCNJ '22

Minji is currently the President and one of the Campus Correspondents for HCTCNJ. She is a senior English and Elementary Education major who is passionate about skincare, turtlenecks, and accurate book-to-movie adaptations.
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