My Biggest Takeaways from 2018

I don’t know about anyone else, but 2018 has been one of the most draining, terrifying and enlightening years of my life. So much has happened this year that has changed me into a completely different person than I was 12 months ago. There has been so much pain, so many hardships and problems this year. However, there has also been so much love, laughter and accomplishments. For me, this has been the year of growing and never going back to the person I was before. There was so much I learned this year, but here are some of the main lessons I’ve learned during 2018:

1. Stop begging people to stay.

Throughout this year, I have had people who promised they would never leave my side disappear without as much as a reason why. The first time it happened, I held on with everything I had. I asked them why they left, why I wasn’t enough for them, what went wrong. I didn’t want them to leave. However, you have to remember that you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind by chasing after them if they don’t want to be chased—you’re going to push them further away. You know that old saying, “If you love something, set it free”? Yeah, follow that. You don’t need people around who don’t want to be there.

2. No answer is an answer.

When you ask for an answer and are met with silence, that is your answer. Asking someone over and over again or trying to read between the lines isn’t helpful. Just accept the fact that this person does not feel, for whatever reason, that you should have an answer. Despite that normally not being true, why do you care? If they’re not even going to make an effort to even tell you why they did that, are treating you like that, etc. stop asking for a “real” answer. Your answer is their silence—accept that.

3. It takes more than just wanting something to make it happen—you have to work for it, too.

Yes, having a desire or dream is great. We all need something to keep us moving forward. However, just wanting something to work isn’t enough—you need to put in the effort, too. Whether it be wanting straight As or to make new friends, you can’t just sit around and hope for things to fall into place. Put in the work and do what you have to do to make your wish become a reality. I know this is easier said than done, but working hard for something is well worth it if you make it worth the battle.

4. Don’t be upset about something if you tried your hardest to make it happen.

This one ties into No. 3 a bit. Work hard, yes. Strive to reach your goals, yes. However, if for whatever reason you don’t hit your dream mark, don’t be discouraged. If you studied for hours on end for an exam and still only end up with a 60 percent, just remember you gave it your all. No one, including yourself, can ask for any more from you than trying your hardest. Put in your best effort and even if you don’t come out on top, try not to be too upset. You should only be upset if you know you could have tried harder.

5. Remember to forgive yourself.

This has been the most challenging thing I’ve had to learn this year. We all make mistakes (trust me, I probably make more than the average person). Dwelling on those mistakes does not help anyone, though. Sure, try not to make the same mistakes repeatedly, but we are human. We are going to mess up. Remember it’s okay to make these mistakes. You just need to pick yourself up and try again. Keep pushing through, don’t get bogged down by the trivial things.

I hope 2018 has treated everyone well. Keep striving, Knights, and remember to live your best life. Happy holidays and have a great 2019.

Images: Hero1, 2, 3, 4, 5