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8 Important Lessons for Every College Student

03/07/2013 12:42 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2013

After a continual string of bad days, I decided to reflect upon the life lessons I wish I could remember to live by. But when in doubt, I just remember that if Britney Spears could make it past 2007, I can get past my worst day (and you can, too).

Do Not Strive to be Perfect

To be clear, perfection is defined as "the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects" (according to Merriam-Webster anyway). So realistically speaking, the chances that you'll ever be flawless are slim to none. There will always be that one hair out of place. You'll step in a puddle in your brand new shoes. Why stress yourself over trying to achieve the non-attainable? Rumor has it you'll end up disappointing yourself in the long run. Don't listen to what your mom told you. Shoot for the stars, not the moon.

No Matter How Perfect Someone Looks, They're Not

The reason you want to be perfect so badly is because the girl next to you looks like she just popped out of some charm school's womb. She's pretty, polite, and has life handed to her on a silver platter. But don't fear, she's not some god-like spawn. Remember that she's another mortal human being just like you and get to know her. Ask her for advice on what you're struggling with. She might be able to help you, and you'll find out that she has flaws too. Hers may not be as obvious or as pressing as yours (because you are the most important person in the world, right?), but they're still there. Try not to compare yourself to her, but keep it in the back of your mind that the girl you were jealous of isn't worth it. You're good enough too.

Always Remember Everyone Has Their Own Past

Do listen to your mom when she told you not to judge a book by its cover. You never know what someone has been through, and not everybody knows what you've been through. Don't assume that everyone comes with a booklet on your past, because you certainly don't have a pamphlet detailing theirs. Be cautious of what you say, and how you say it. You never know how someone's past is affecting their present.

Life Is Not Like the Movies or TV Shows That You Religiously Watch

Simply put, unless you have a stylist and hairdresser waiting on you at all times, you aren't going to look like Blair Waldorf. Unless you have a writer who can magically alter what you and every single person you interact with will say, no conversation will play out the way you pictured it in your head. But that's the beauty of reality. It's unscripted and in the moment. Unless you're on The Jersey Shore. That's not reality. That's disgusting.

It's Okay to "YOLO" Every Once in a While

As cliche as it sounds, it's true. You only live once. Make the most of it. Go out with friends on a random Wednesday night. Check out the hole-in-the-wall that you've been dying to know about. Order an extra dessert. Take a spontaneous road trip. Do it for the story. You won't remember about the paper you wrote for your History of Jazz class, but you'll remember feeling like a badass the time you skipped it.

You Have a Brain -- Use It.

If something feels wrong, more than likely it is wrong. Don't copy off of the kid next to you's test. Copying a few words of someone else's paper is plagiarizing. Pay the extra $5 for a cab home instead of walking alone. Yes, YOLO, but don't do something stupid that would screw up the rest of your life. One decision shouldn't define another million decisions.

Don't Let One Bad Day Define All of Your Good Days

There will inevitably be a day where everything goes wrong and you want to give up. When you're ready to curse out the next person that crosses you, take a step back and remember the little things that would bring a smile to your face if you saw them on Tumblr. So what if you bombed that test? You totally made that stranger's day by letting them cut you in line for coffee.

You Have to Give a Little to Get a Lot

You're only as good as how you're remembered. Be the person who compliments others. Hold the door open for the kid behind you. Smile. Laugh. And when your day is rough, people will remember those qualities in you and return the favor.

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