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Lindsay Thompson / Her Campus
Mental Health

A Classified Handbook on Becoming the Best Version of Yourself


The first-rate test of strength is being able to value and work towards a long term goal while using the fruits of past lessons to embrace the present to the highest degree. It’s taking in all three elements of time as it affects our mind and using it to our greatest advantage. An internal battle we all fight is training our minds to see past the cracks and to take in the light. The more cracks there are - the more light can penetrate. Many people may completely give up on seeing the light and dwell on trying to piece the cracks back together, while others allow the pieces to crumble and embrace whatever follows. 

I think while quarantine has been a burden to nearly every facet of life, it has indubitably given a lot of my friends -- and certainly myself -- a great deal of time to reflect. Yes, had certain events not panned out as they did in 2020, we most certainly would be enjoying a life we were all accustomed to prior. However, needless to say, we cannot prevent the natural flow, only our processing mechanisms. This is something that has taken me a great deal of time to respect. As we get older, certain things and people that come into our lives cannot be controlled, but the way in which we internalize and process these incoming thoughts can be -- the sun is always burning behind every storm!

Whether you’re on campus this semester or staying home, here are some of the things I like to keep in the back of my mind. I guess we could call this the mini “Silver Linings Handbook” to becoming the best version of yourself, especially during these trying times.

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1. It’s not that personal.

Everyone is in their heads a bit too much nowadays -- with such limited external communication, you may even be at the point where you’re dwelling on the way the cashier at CVS dropped the dimes of change into your hand. It’s an inevitable recipe for disaster to be cooped up and alone so often. So what if someone thinks you were being too loud or thought your shirt was too bright? Everyone will have something to say about you, but it’s the people that are doing less than you that feel the need to criticize you. Why? Because the people doing more than you are too focused on their dreams and know how hard the journey is, that they wouldn’t dare waste their energy on insults. You will only be criticized by someone who needs to take out their frustration! So keep doing you.

2. Let the bad vibes roll.

Your friends want to grab breakfast after a night out. You survey your options. You could either stay in bed and sleep the day away, or you force yourself up. Keeping in mind that your anxiety is reaching unprecedented levels, your head feels like something is gnawing at it from the inside out and you can’t quite recollect any of what was said for the past twelve hours. Nonetheless, you have two parties to please, pun intended. We’ve all been there. All I can tell you is that no matter what you said or who you accidentally spilled something on, you are fine. I can assure you that as embarrassed, sad, shocked, or anxious you are, it can be lived down. Don’t Soak up the embarrassment. In the end, it’s going to be the difference between “wow, I can’t believe I did that” and “damn, I wish I did that”. 

3. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Generally speaking, you gave four years to make the most of this experience, so get out of your rut and do what you can to make sure it happens. Get ahead of the game. Not many people are going to graduate college saying that they are absolutely satisfied with every situation they took advantage of, so why can’t that be you. Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, there’s probably something you turned down within the past month that very well could have been your best college memory yet. Nothing good comes from staying in your comfort zone, so take this as a sign! There’s a best friend out there that you haven’t made yet.



Edited by Grace Willean

Hey! My name is Julia Kaplansky and I am currently at the University of Vermont majoring in Linguistics with a minor in Spanish. I'm from Westchester, NY and I'm in the class of 2023! I am passionate about challenging perspectives and providing unique insight with my own flair, which is why I decided to become a member of the HerCampus team here at UVM. My mission as a writer during my undergraduate years is for my words to reach those in need of a new frame of mind and to touch people all over. Thanks for reading :)
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