Lessons I Learned My Sophomore Year (Undergrad)

"I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn't give up."

1. Unwithering faith is crucial.

Faith in God and faith in yourself is completely necessary if you want to move forwards in life. Life is full of ups and downs. That's the beauty of it. If life was always full of happiness and an absence of struggles, how can we truly enjoy and appreciate the good things in life? My sophomore year of college has been the most eventful year of my life. I went through so many things and I learned an incredible amount of lessons. Looking back, I never expected to go through half the things I did, but it's all part of life. I don't think I would be where I am now if I lost faith in God and faith in myself. To this day, I'm unsure of what my purpose in life is and why I go through certain things, but having complete faith in the One who's in control is certainly easier than walking through life confused and frazzled.

2. People come and people go.

Life opens new doors right when past doors close. But everyone that's been in your life has been there for a reason, to teach you, to love you, or simply to experience life with you. I'm a huge people person. It's nothing bad, I just get my energy from my surroundings. My mood is quite easily affected by those around me. Because of that, those who have made me happy and changed me for the better, they're very hard for me to let go. I've learned that you're going to lose people in your life, whether intentional or unintentional. But those that you care about, no matter how much time you spent with them or how much you appreciate them and told them so, it will never seem like it was enough. So enjoy the moments now. Live in the present. Embrace the lessons they teach us. But I've also learned in order to do so, don't waste your time holding onto people who have let you go. Appreciate those that truly care for you.

3. Motivation comes and goes.

"Motivation is a feeling which comes and goes. Determination is a decision, which keeps you pressing on when motivation no shows." - Bonnie P

I learned that being disciplined is better than being motivated. I relied a lot on motivation this past year, and I highly regret it. Had I pushed myself to do better rather than waiting on the "push" to study or to work, I would have had a better GPA, a more toned and healthier body, a better year.

4. Stress can be reduced.

Stressful situations are inevitable. But for the longest time, I always thought that stress couldn't be reduced. That it always full force or not at all. I learned however that there are ways to curb stress. They can easily be your hobbies. The past year, I picked up photography, blogging, coloring books, cooking, and working out. Also, being prepared ahead of time helps a bunch ;) And if you think about it, there's no sense of stressing. Because a year from now, (or that specific moment), everything you're stressing about won't even matter.

5. Optimism is effective. Thomas Edison once said "our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." When you believe you can do it, you've already conquered and accomplished the hard part. Everything is all mental, it's all in the head. You must learn to make opportunities out of difficulties. Hellen Keller says, "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." Stay optimistic! There's no cost to being positive. When you're positive, good vibes are drawn towards you. As I've always heard, a great attitude turns into a great life!

6. Exercise & Activity is essential. I've turned into somewhat of a health freak. I can't help it! But anyways, exercise and daily activity was something that kept me healthy. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Whenever I was frustrated, I would go for a run or a workout and I would end up sweating everything away. All my stress, frustrations, anger, everything was just pushed out through my energy. In the end, it was a win-win because it was great for my physical health, and it calmed me down and reduced my stress.

7. Self-confidence is a necessity.

Someone once told me that "confidence comes naturally with success but success comes only to those who are confident." In the path of ambition and determination, self confidence is the foundation of success and achievement. When you have goals or when you stand up for something, you will always have opposition. But the more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them. Be confident in how you were raised, in what you were taught, in the potential that others see in you. Self-confidence contains an immense amount of power. Once you believe in yourself, doors will swing open. [Mainly because you'll have the guts to kick it open ;)] 8. Resilience is important. I can't tell you how many times in the past year I've felt as if I've been pushed down time and time again. How many doors have been shut on my face. How many people I've lost. And how many mornings I've wanted to stay curled up in my bed. Had I stayed in bed, I wouldn't have had half the opportunities I was able to experience. Being a perfectionist, when struck with failures, I tend to just stay knocked down. But I'm learning to stand back up again. The desire to fight back, to come back stronger, was always there. I just needed the extra push. Life was that extra push. Resilience means you experience, you feel, and you fall. You fail, but you keep going. Allyson Partridge once said, "Resilience: you can spend your entire life focusing on your scars, or proudly carry them with you as you reach for the stars". 9. Less is More.

Minimalism is key. Simplicity has been my aim for the past several years of my life. However, I never really, truly recognized the importance of it until the past year. Life is just too short to carry around whole bunch of things you don't need. I look forward to take my list of lessons with me as I enter into junior year of undergrad this August as well as this summer! What is your favorite and ultimate lesson that you learned this past year?




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