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Lessons Learned in 2018

2018 was a long year. With each year, comes new lessons learned. Now is the time for reflection. There are situations I intend on “leaving in 2018” and lessons I hope to bring into 2019. Some more obvious than others, but none the less I realized them this year. With no further introduction, these are a few lessons I learned in 2018.  

Mom Always Knows Best

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A lesson that took me longer than most to realize. That’s the thing with growing up, there are countless “a-ha” moments when you understand exactly where your mom was coming from. My mom has a kick-ass work ethic, wicked endurance, and caring charm. Not only is she a well-articulated speaker, but she also knows exactly what to say even if you may not want to hear it. She is a woman who never gives up, especially on the ones she loves most.  If I could be half the woman my mom is, I’d be more than content.

Mind Your Own Business 

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Getting involved in someone else’s business can get very messy. Also, it's completely unnecessary. Why put yourself in a messy situation when you can stay safe in your own? Your opinion does not always need to be stated and it’s probably better left unsaid. By refraining from meddling in other’s affairs, you will notice a significant difference in the amount of stress in your life. Personally, by minding my own business I now have better control of my social life and live a drama-free life. Before this, I’d find myself in sticky situations and be wondering how I got there, not minding my business got me there. Do yourself and everyone a favor by worrying about yourself— you’ll thank yourself later. 

Celebrate the Small Victories 

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A lot of the time, I don’t give myself enough credit. I dwell on my failures and neglect my smaller achievements. However, victories build up. By focusing on the successful moments, my self-confidence will be transformed.  It shifts my paradigm completely. Once I’m in a mindset that recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments in my life, I’m on the path to achieving greater success in the future. You should celebrate all your victories, no matter how small.  A new-found motivation and pride come with this recognition. In this mindset, I will achieve great things in 2019. 

Everyone Deals with Death Differently

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At the end of 2017, I lost my great-grandma and nana.  To put it simply, I was sad. The grief lingers in 2018. This was the first time I experienced death and unfortunately, they happened back to back. In my grief, I became frustrated. I would compare my grief with other family members and grow confused about why their grief didn’t mirror mine. I translated their grief to selfishness. However, there is no right way to grieve. Death is inevitable and everyone has different ways of coping. In these times, it's important to encourage unity rather than imposing judgment. 

Friends are the Family you Choose

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I’ve had the same circle of friends since high school. Cultivating friendships is not easy, but for these few, it’s worth it. They chose me to be in their lives and I chose them to be in mine.With every emotional Target parking lot heart-to-heart, Panda Express confession, boba war, life vest party, and questionable DIY tattoo— they are the people who have shaped and protected me. Because of our perpetual support and occasional harsh “call out”, together we grow. The love, support, and protection these few radiate is rare and something I will never take for granted.  

Best Things in Life Are Not Always Things


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For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of dating the most dreamy boy. With people like him, there is spontaneity, adventure, celebration, and promise in life. These qualities are more than feelings— they are gifts. Life is a gift filled with Easter eggs of people who help you unveil these special feelings. When you’re not seeking it, the best things fall into your life. They uncover the secrets to enjoying life as they present the best that life has to offer.   

Hello, I'm Viv a Sociology Senior at UC Santa Barbara. I am a proud dog mom of four, avid concert-goer, and constant chipotle eater. I'm an aspiring journalist and I love being part of the HerCampus team. 
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