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

For the past year, I have spent long hours pondering on what my life could have been like if the pandemic had not happened. While I’m extremely grateful for my family’s health as well as my own, I think about the opportunities I lost; my study abroad experience in France as well as the ease that comes with making friends on campus rather than through Zoom calls, to name a few.

However, I started noticing that dwelling on the past was taking a toll on my mental health, and the problem had started long before the pandemic. I stayed away from opportunities or situations that were unknown to me, out of fear of the outcome. Always being fearful of stepping into the unknown, comparing myself to others, worrying about what people might say, and possibly letting my family down. It took me a long time, but I have finally realized that the only thing stopping me from living the life of adventure I have only read about in books, is myself. 

Solo Travel
Photo by Element 5 Digital from Pexels

Recently, I have felt that the world is moving at a faster pace than I am. Everyone seems to know exactly where their life is headed, and which steps to take. After much time reflecting and learning how to ask for help, I know it is okay to take time for myself, to go with my own rhythm. I understand what people mean when they say every second matters and should be spent doing something I love, as cheesy as that sounds. 

While it is perfectly okay to take time to relax, I now feel that once the world is relatively safe and healthy again, I cannot sit by and let life pass me by. I will go on that trip, join that club, talk to that friendly person, and learn from my mistakes instead of never making them. 

As my graduation date becomes clearly visible, I can’t help but be slightly wary of what my future will hold. Still, I know that whatever comes after, I will take action to make it the best it can be. Whether I end up on a similar path to those around me, or if I feel that I need to do something completely different, the choice will be entirely mine, because, at the end of the day, no one else is living my life except for me. 

roadtrip map
Photo by Tabea Damm from Unsplash

As a result, I am holding myself accountable through this article, writing down a couple of things on my bucket list that hopefully, I can complete:

  • Work on a successful ad campaign

  • Live in France for a year and explore Europe

  • Learn how to bake bread

  • Sneak into a VIP party

  • Act in a play/musical

  • Be a contestant on a game show

woman standing in a sunflower field
Photo by Matteo Vistocco from Unsplash

There is a chance I might not complete every item on this bucket list, yet knowing that I have the chance to try makes me look forward to my future. Hopefully whoever is reading this can feel like they can also make the decision that will make them the happiest, as I am trying to do for myself. As a great inspiration of mine once said, “If you’re happy doing what you’re doing, then nobody can tell you you’re not successful.” 

My name is Maria and I am a senior at USF studying Integrated Public Relations & Advertising and French.
Hello! My name is Cassie! I am a public relations and advertising student at the University of South Florida with a minor in leadership studies. I love digital art and finding new ways to empower women via the internet!