Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lessons Learned- 2nd Year Edition

So here I am a few hours after my final exam, and man, I am happy. The sense of relief I felt at the end was amazing because I have been studying like crazy, but I can honestly say this has been the best year of my life. I have learned so much about myself. And so, similarly to my summer edition of lessons learned, I have reflected on my year and come up with the things I have learned this year.

1.       Drama will persist throughout your life.

I find it hard to know where to start in describing this. For an awful three months, I lost a friend. This is someone that I had grown very close to in a few short months. This was someone I could see becoming a best friend. And due to a miscommunication, we lost each other. I’ve realized that one is never above drama. I thought I was beyond arguments over menial things after high school, and I was wrong. But let me tell you, it’s not the end of the world. The good thing about adult fights is everyone is more mature. Maybe not in the heat of the moment, but if you keep a good head and make the right moves, then everything is going to work out.

2.       Never have arguments over text.

And how do you think misunderstand from #1 came about? Texting. Everyone and their mom will tell you about the dangers of technology when it comes to relationships. It says a lot about your character if you choose to deal with issues in person and bring everything out into the open, especially if it involves a third party.

3.       It’s okay to be someone different.

A year ago, I would have kicked myself for the person I am today. This year, I started going out to bars (I’m legal, don’t worry), and kissing guys. This is not who I thought I was going to be, and for a while, I really struggled with that. Then I realized that maybe this has been me all along. University has been a place where I can actually be myself: my REAL self that likes to go out every so often and is actually considered desirable. High school was just not the right place for me to be this person. It’s okay to change!
 
This is how I feel about this year.
[source]

4.       Take your shoes off.

I have a friend who wears slippers at school all. The. Time. And for a while, I thought she was crazy. Then one day, I had all my stuff from sleeping over at a friend’s place, and I decided to get comfy. And it was one of my favourite days this year. Your school is your school. It’s a second home. So act like it. Take your shoes off. Bring a blanket for long days in the library. Wear your slippers. Trust me.

5.       Be thankful for everyone.

It may have been the lack of sleep or overstudying, but I went through a friend’s Instagram today, and I started bawling. I just became so overwhelmingly thankful to have her in my life. This was the friend I lost for a while. Since the fight, we have become closer than ever. She is the person I go to for everything, and she always knows exactly what to say even when I’m ranting. They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Well, she was gone, and now that I have her back, I see how lucky am I to have her. Don’t let something catastrophic make you realize the value of the people around you.

6.       Don’t forget your roots.

This has been a recent revelation. I made friends with a good group of girls in first year. The group dwindled, but three of us are left. I consider them the base to my university life. However, we have all grown apart slightly this year. It happens, and it will continue to happen when we are going down our separate paths, but I urge you all not to forget where you are coming from. This includes your family as well. Never forget who made you who you are today.

7.       Get involved.

I cannot stress this enough. If you’re starting university this coming fall, or going back for your last year, it is never too late to get involed. I think the biggest reason this year was the best is because I was on the soph team. I have been a part of the greatest group of people ever assembled, and it is so rewarding. I’ve met the best people, and I continue to spread my branches out to connect with their friends and then their friends. It’s a connection of so many amazing people that fill my life with so much joy.

8.       Wear comfortable shoes out.

So I started to go to bars for real this year, and I learned something very quickly: heels suck. The bar my friends and I frequent is very casual, so Converse shoes totally work, but I suggest you invest in some shoes that are actually comfortable. I have booties that are heeled, but since the heel is thick, it does not hurt my feet as much. Your feet will thank me later.

9.       Know your limits.

This is incredibly important. I’m talking drinking and romantic encounters. Make sure you know where you are comfortable. And always remember that IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO. If you say no and the person walks away, they were not worth your time, TRUST ME. And when it comes to drinking, only you know best. Don’t feel the need to drink like the people around you. Listen to your body. Look for the signs it tells you when it’s at the right level. If you do that, you can narrow down the perfect limit to what you drink before you go out, and then not have to spend a ton at the bar.
 
[source]

10.   Learn how to make drinks.

This came from a girl’s night with Marlee, but I carried it over into my other friend groups. I stay at my friend’s apartment all the time, and they always make me breakfast and pay for the cabs back. I started repaying them by making them drinks. And they LOVE it! Plus, I hear it looks impressive to anyone.

11.   Find a system that works.

This is not from experience. I’m awful at finding a good jam and sticking to it. I need to take my own advice here. It takes some work to learn what keeps you motivated, but it’s worth it in the end.

12.   Be open to new ideas of learning.

High school had me thinking there was only one way to write a paper or complete a project and if I have learned anything, it is that that is so wrong. The amount of times I have had to change my style of learning or writing in the past two years is ridiculous. I wrote papers in three different styles this year. I started highlighting textbooks (it hurts me though) and that really paid off. I started typing up textbook readings which made it go by so much faster when it came to studying. Don’t get stuck in a box. Experiment.

13.   Bullies will exist in all walks of life.

Similar to #1, I’m sad to say this is true. Without getting much into it, there was a girl in three of my classes that was mean to me. That sounds so juvenile, but there is no better way to explain it. I had no idea that adults set out to make each other feel tiny. It’s a horrible feeling, and I cried multiple times over it. The thing about bullies is that it is no reflection on you. The way they act towards you is for some reason they made up in their heads. For example, this girl saw me as a threat because I spoke in class just as much as her. She talked about me all the time to one of my friends. As of today, I never have to see her again, and I am going to go straight to deleting her off all my social media. Bully be gone!

I just had a realization that my next exam will take place in England! I cannot wait to see what I can learn overseas!

What was the most important thing you learned this year?

-Daniella