I recently went into my advisor’s office to get some advice on an online portfolio that I’ve been putting together (shameless plug, go up there to the menu and click on it if you’re so inclined) and he asked me a question about the blog. “So, what lessons have you learned?” He was referring to the header under the title of the blog and I faltered for a second, realizing that I didn’t really have an answer.
Back when I created the blog, I had just put that tagline in there with no thought other than the space needed to be filled and it sounded decent enough for the time being. The time being has been several months and I haven’t changed the tagline or provided any proof of lessons I’ve learned.
So, I decided to sit down and make a list of some of the lessons I’ve learned in my 21 years and what I’ve gained from them. Some of them are silly, some of them are serious, some of them might not even make sense. But here they are anyway:
Involved shouldn’t mean overwhelmed
I can’t speak for my other upperclassmen friends, but this year I felt a lot of pressure to get involved with as many organizations as I could. However, as fall semester progressed I realized my involvement in three extra-curricular organizations, 15 credit hours, and a part-time job was just a little too much for me. So I listened to the voice in my head that said “something’s gotta give” and decided to trim down my involvement for the time being. If you’ve got that little voice inside your head too, don’t ignore it, your mental health and well-being are worth more than another line on your resume.
Always have chapstick
I’ve learned that having chapped lips is the most annoyingly painful feeling in the entire world. If you disagree with me, I will fight you. So, avoid my strong opinions and dry lips by keeping some chapstick with you at all times.
Plan, but don’t panic
Since starting college I have become a planner, an organizational skill that is essential when you’re a full-time student involved in so many different organizations. The only downside to that is when things don’t go according to plan or according to my schedule, I get anxious and panicky. While I love that I’m a planner, I don’t love that I get panicked when things aren’t perfect. I’m starting to work on understanding those feelings and how to dispell the panic, I don’t have any specific tips on that other than to take things one step at a time.
Love what you have, live for what you want
I apologize if this sounds super philosophical or cheesy. The phrase just kind of popped into my head when I was making this list because while I am extremely grateful for what I have in my life–family, friends, material goods, food, a roof over my head–I also know that there is more I want. I want to travel, fall in love, have a family, own enough books to have my own personal library, and get a cute puppy. I love the experiences and things I have, but I’m living for the things and experiences I want to have someday.
Buy lots of candles
Now that I’m no longer living in a dorm there are so many normal things that I can actually use: toasters, extension cords, and candles just to name a few. I had no idea how much I would love having candles in my bedroom until this school year. I light them when I’m doing homework, getting ready for bed, or just hanging out in my room. I picked out calming sweet scents and they really help when I want to relax or calm down. So treat yourself to some wicked good scents and please keep me informed of any Bath and Body Works candle sales!
Never grow up
If you ask me, Peter Pan has given some of the best advice of any Disney character I know. Now, I’m not suggesting that you live your entire life like a kid, but more along the lines of not taking yourself too seriously. That can mean so many different things. Watching cartoons all day, eating sugary kids cereal, running around the house playing with your dog, playing jokes on your friends and family, or even just taking a nap with a comfy blanket. You can never be a kid again, but you can (and should) act like one every once and a while.
I’ll keep adding to this list as I learn more lessons, hence why this post is titled “Lessons Pt. 1.” I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m excited and willing.
As always, thanks for reading!