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Sunset photo from outside my window
Sunset photo from outside my window
Original photo by Angelyn Felices

Useful Advice to Follow

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

This world is indeed beautiful, but it can also be so cruel. Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of people not performing basic human decency; why is it so difficult for others to be kind and respectful to one another? It’s as if it’s gradually being lost and slowly disappearing within humanity. How do we know who still has a heart and who doesn’t? To combat this mishappening, here are some pieces of advice that I typically follow. I hope to share them in order to bring more wise thinking when it comes to living in a beautiful yet cruel world. 

There should be a balance between selfishness and selflessness. 

Yes, it’s okay to be selfish every once in a while. It’s also okay to be selfless every once in a while. However, there should be a balance between these two. Lately, I’ve been seeing an interesting mixture of individuals who either put others before themselves or put themselves before others. It’s an incredible imbalance that is sad to see. If you put too much emphasis on taking care of others, you’ll end up forgetting to take care of yourself. It’s alright to think about yourself too! 

Similarly, if you put too much emphasis on taking care of yourself, you’ll end up forgetting to take care of others. You can’t always be too selfish. 

The balance between selfishness and selflessness will ensure a healthier lifestyle for yourself and for the people around you. Follow your instincts whether you are in situations where you have to choose between yourself or others. Be caring of others, but also remember to care for yourself. 

Don’t rely on beauty standards to see yourself as beautiful. 

This may be a difficult piece of advice that is little to impossible to follow, but it does take some time. Social media is restrictively judgmental and subjective to certain kinds of beauty standards. These standards include having a slim figure, light skin, double eyelids, perfect silky smooth clear skin, and so much more. This ultimately degrades other kinds of beauty standards and leaves others believing their beauty is not beautiful enough for the world.

The ideal beauty standard conducted by the media is only one type of beauty marketed efficiently to label as the ultimate beauty standard for everyone to achieve. I absolutely LOVE how there are people who defy it though. They would display all kinds of beauty in order to build self confidence and self love like stretch marks, plus sized bodies, dark skin, and so much more. Showing the beauty within these kinds of characteristics are an excellent way to dismantle the ideal beauty standard to include more broad and unique ones. It breaks down the idea of beauty to its realistic imperfections that is rarely seen. 

You are beautiful no matter what people say about you. Embrace your beauty! 

There will always be good people and bad people anywhere you go.

Any community, organization, business, country, school, fandom, you name it; there will always be good people and bad people. No matter where you go, you’ll always meet all kinds of people that will either be kind to you or rude to you. Don’t always trust people so easily, especially ones you’ve just met regardless of how they treat others. Always be on high alert. 

If you are part of a community and you know within yourself that you would never do any actions or possess any characteristics that puts a negative reputation on the community (do not lie to yourself when I say this; be truthfully honest with yourself), then you’re not being spoken of. Therefore, you shouldn’t be offended when others are disliking the community you are a part of because you’re most likely part of the good people of the community. If you do get offended, you’re either missing the point, you’re part of the problem, or you’re most likely part of the bad people of the community. Any group will always have a mixture of those who are trash and those who aren’t. 

Whether it be men, white people, UCI, BTS ARMY, etc., please don’t be offended when others are disliking the community/ies you’re a part of. Try to understand what is making people dislike them. For example: of course, not all men are trash. But there are enough men to claim so. There are even men out there who fully agree with the phrase and are not offended by it. Why? Because they know, they understand, and they see why. Try to do this kind of approach. 

If you feel the ‘fight or flight’ instinct with a group of friends, stop being friends with them. 

Intuition is an important key when it comes to finding your people in your life. You shouldn’t feel any form of tension or anxiety with a group of friends every time you are with them. True friends should make you feel comfortable, motivated, and willing to be yourself when around them. 

It can be extremely disheartening, difficult, and lonely trying to find the right people in your life. Sometimes, you may have to get hurt in the process. Yet, it will be worth it when the time comes when you finally find your tribe and people. Trust the process and the journey.

Photo of different items from anime, kpop, books, art, etc.
Original photo by Angelyn Felices

Phases are necessary to learn more about yourself.  

Whether it be you went through a book phase, a K-pop phase, a gaming phase, or any kind of phase, this can help you understand what sticks with you and what doesn’t. There are so many things in life that are bound for people to become interested in for a certain amount of time. If your interest in something doesn’t decrease and you continue to be interested, that’s great! If you start to lose interest and feel like it is not for you anymore, that’s okay! You went through that phase in order to find out if you like it or not. Overall, you’ll understand yourself a lot more than before you went through those phases. 

It is never okay to use others to lash out to. 

It’s especially not ok when they never asked for it. You don’t get to know someone or become friends with them just so you can lash out at them about your problems. They are people too with their own problems and so doing so will only stress them out even more. Of course, everyone has their own problems in their life, but don’t try to transfer them onto other people; keep them to yourself. 

Life can suck a lot. However, it’s ultimately up to our individual selves to put in the effort to not let it suck. It may be exhausting to do such a task, but to live is to suffer. You can’t relieve it by highly depending or relying on other people to do it for you. The only thing they can do is support you; the rest only you can do. This brings me to my next two pieces of advice…

Don’t entirely depend on people to come into your life in order to save you. 

What would happen if all of a sudden you stop being friends with the person who saved you? It will be painful to experience and you would just go back to square one before you met them: broken and fragile. People can come into your life to support you, but the effort to get better needs to be on your part. Not someone else’s. It is never their responsibility. Sure, you can ask them for help or advice because there will be times when you can’t do it alone. However, it’s ultimately up to you to get back up on your feet to fix yourself.

The best person to help you is yourself. If you know there are certain situations or problems where you don’t have any guidance, that is when they can lend you a hand in support. Just know they are also people who have their own problems to deal with as well; constantly dropping off your problems for them to resolve is too selfish.

Don’t wait for a hero to come save your life for the better. Despite having genuine friends and family you have for support when necessary, you also only have yourself. People will come and go in your life; you can’t depend on people all the time to help you. It is ultimately only yourself that can help you. 

Always be communicative. 

I know it’s hard to do that especially if you have social anxiety and are afraid to talk to people. However, one of the prime essences of healthy relationships is communication. It isn’t right to let someone out of the loop or give them the silent treatment when you are upset at them, at least not for too long. 

No communication can also lead to ghosting. If you ever ghosted someone and tried to talk to them again, don’t expect them to reciprocate as if you never ghosted them in the first place. They might not know why you ghosted them, leaving them confused and hurt. If you want to talk to someone again, feel free to do so but do it properly. It doesn’t matter if it was either your fault you ghosted them or they did something that made you ghost them. You don’t have to explain all the specific details if it’s too personal; the only thing that needs to be done to lead to a resolution is closure. 

Not having enough communication will cause misunderstandings and toxicity. Don’t be that person. How are people going to communicate with you if you won’t communicate with them? It may be hard but not maintaining it will reflect on how approachable you are perceived to be and you might end up losing a lot of people you deeply care about, resulting in being alone. All in all, communication is key. 

Don’t treat someone as if they remind you of someone else.

Personally, I don’t like it when people say I remind them of someone they know or they see someone within me, whether it be a loved one or a close friend. It makes it seem like they don’t see me for who I am but instead a replacement for someone else. 

Yes, you would meet people that would remind you of someone you know, but it doesn’t mean you should view or treat them the same way as the person they remind you of. You should love a person inside and out for who they are, not because they remind you of someone else. 

I am not a perfect person, but I do hope these pieces of advice can be somewhat useful for you all to know. Life is all about self-improvement to be the best self you can ever be. Improvement is an essential part of life; it’s natural to receive and follow it. We are only human and we do make mistakes to learn and grow. Having useful advice such as these are great ways to begin the journey of self-improvement of oneself. Good luck!

Hello!! I'm a 5th year student at University of California, Irvine majoring in Film and Media Studies and minoring in Global Cultures. My pronouns are she/her. I have a pure love and interest for learning and gaining more knowledge about the world, the good and the bad. My hobbies include listening to music, dancing, and watching films. Becoming a member of HerCampus at UCI, I wish to improve myself personally and professionally in becoming more properly expressive and less afraid to allow my voice to be heard. I'm looking forward to the journey ahead!! :))