These were the top 10 things that I learned during my time in college. Entering college the world was my oyster and I was on cloud nine. Nothing could knock me down or shake me. Or so I thought. Every single one of these I learned from a shitty boyfriend, terrible/incredible friend, missed opportunities, or a sleepless night revelation. Everyone loves learning the hard way but if applied, these lessons I learned could save you from wasted time, heartache, indecision, and could open an infinite amount of doors.
1. Say “I Love You” More.
I cannot stress this enough, say ‘I love you’ more. Throw it around as often as you can. Many will fight me on this saying that the word ‘love’ is a sacred word that is only meant for the very special few and that it loses its value if you use it profusely. I beg to differ. If you have any bit of love for a person you need to express that. You can love someone for their ability to annoy you, the way that they always know how to say that right thing at the right moment, or the fact that they let you have the last thin mint. You never know when it could be last time.
2. Failure happens.
You can do whatever you want. Failure is an option. It is an option every time you are too scared to even try. If you try and fail then it’s just another lesson learned. You can’t be afraid anymore. Looking failure right in the face and giving it the middle finger will be one of the greatest lessons in your life. Then get back up and start again.
3. Do not settle.
Never settle for less than you know what you deserve. Never work at a job that pays decent but you’re extremely unhappy at. Never stay with a boring or abusive partner because you don’t think you can do better. Never live in a place or put yourself in an environment that doesn’t suit you. DO NOT SETTLE. Settling is the easy way out of the fear of the future. Don’t be scared to take the leap, chances are you’ll be in a much better place than you are now. Ultimately, settling leads to a dull, mind-numbing life of regrets and what ifs.
4. Be proud of your work.
Take pride and joy in what you have accomplished. It could be not hitting the snooze button, filling your tank up before the light goes on, or landing that dream job you’ve been interviewing for.Social Media platforms have allowed us to share every single moment of our lives, so take advantage. Have no shame of what you have achieved. Now go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. If the haters going to hate, then say be it. In the wise words of T. Swift, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate..”
5. Be honest.
White lies are easy to come by. This is a terrible routine to start and most of us started at an extremely young age. We learn that by lying we are appeasing our parents, but in turn that is the last thing they want. We usually learn this lesson at an early age after getting caught. A little lie here, a little lie there. Before you know it is almost second nature. We say lies with intentions to not hurt, but in turn we are doing just that. Once you can become truthful with others you start to become honest and realistic with yourself. In the world there are a lot of dishonest people, be the 1% and quit with the lying. As someone once said, Honesty is the best policy.
6. Thank your parents.
They brought you into this world and raised you to the person you are today. Elementary school you worshipped them, junior high came along and you were too cool for them, high school they were your biggest fans at sporting events or school plays, and in college you finally had the epiphany that “Holy shit, my parents have given me and done absolutely everything they could possible to prepare my for life and have loved me unconditionally through all my life tantrums.” Now go right this second… call, text, or say in person how thankful you are of them. (Give them a little hug too). This also applies for siblings, if you are lucky enough to have them… keep them close and continue to make memories with them.
7. Forgiveness is key.
Forgiveness is an interesting concept to grasp. One party says, “I’m sorry for this, that and the other.” The other party in turn says, “Apology accepted, I forgive you.” Easy enough right? Wrong. Depending on the person or the degree of the action forgiveness can be the most challenging but rewarding thing any one person can experience. To forgive means you receive the apology whole heartedly and move on. This may mean you never speak to the person again or you hug it out and work towards a better future. Forgiveness allows you to get resentment off your chest and lets you experience happiness again. The tricky thing about forgiveness is the nasty habit of bringing up the past. Many people have the ability to recount every single time a person was wrongful towards them and will not let them forget it. Now that right there is not forgiveness. Forgive, but never forget is how the saying goes. But don’t forgive and continually remind the other party. No one’s got time or mentally capability to deal with that.
9. Make Eye Contact
You would be surprised how a little eye contact can go a long way. This is especially necessary when living with the technology that we have today. It is almost impossible to walk into a social setting where everyone has the phones away and are engaging in conversation. Making eye contact not only shows that you are being attentive but you begin to realize that eye contact and listening goes hand in hand. Every word will be matched by a visual aid. Oh, and recent studies showed the more eye contact made is another way that many end up falling in love.
10. Travel as much as you can.
Traveling defines who you are. When you grow up in the same house, same room, go to elementary school, junior high, high school and college all within a 20 mile radius you grow up singular. Now throw in a few trips to different countries, maybe even a few different states and you will learn more about yourself than you ever did sitting in your childhood room reading articles about life. When you have ran out of money, lost in a city, and your cell phone service down that is when you discover that you can do it. You have no choice but to sack up and just do it. Get where you are trying to go and once you accomplish a task as simple as asking for directions or finally reaching your destination after hours being lost, it is the most uplifting feeling in the world. Traveling opens your eyes to cultures you’ve only read about and you meet the most unconventional humans.