THE BLOG
12/08/2014 01:52 pm ET Updated Feb 07, 2015

10 Things I Learned In My First Year of College I Hope to Carry with Me for the Rest of My Life

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  1. Everyone you meet is going to have different opinions, beliefs, and dreams than you. Accept them, learn about them, and let them help shape you as a person -- they will do so whether you like it or not.
  2. No one is responsible for you except you. You are your own happiness. You are the way you perform and the way you make others feel. You are the one who decides what happens next. You hold the power to change whatever you believe needs changing.

  3. One bad grade is not going to ruin your entire life. We all have subjects that challenge us -- perhaps a lot more than we would like -- but don't let one bad grade discourage you from reaching your end goal. It sometimes feels as though your entire life has to change because of one grade but I promise you, it does not. Your goal is still attainable; do not forget that.
  4. You must learn to love every part of yourself. I know; this one is a lot easier said then done. Just realize that you are worthy of love even though you may not love yourself. Understand that you are who you are and every aspect of your being is what makes you whole. As soon as you are able to do that, you will be able to see how many people love and respect you too.
  5. Taking time for the little things you enjoy will make all the difference.
    In today's world, it is almost impossible to take one second to yourself. You are either attached to your phone or running to class or work or a meeting or an appointment. You need to do everything you can to allow yourself to find a time for you. Ride a bike, go for a walk, or listen to some new music. Watch bad television or good television. Read a book. Pretend to read a book and just nap the entire time. Whatever allows you for one minute to not feel as though the entire world around you is going one hundred miles per hour, do it. Disconnect from everything for a bit and remember why you are doing what you are. The craziness of today makes it much too easy to forget.
  6. You need to respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy. This was one of the most difficult to learn, and still remains the most difficult to obey. It's hard to walk away from something entirely. It is hard to recognize what does and does not serve you in a helpful way. It is difficult to see past regular routines and societal obligations, but you need to. You need to respect your own being enough to let yourself thrive in a place you love and one that you are able explore your passion, no matter what it is.
  7. It's ok to make mistakes -- they're going to help you learn and develop the most. At some point, everyone who is your senior was exactly where you are now. They all had to learn the basic steps to climb to where they are in this moment. No one started knowing everything. Negative feedback is more often than not difficult to hear but it will help you recognize areas with more potential to grow. Be sure to let it.
  8. Never change who you are for anyone. If people don't appreciate you for every aspect of your being, it's ok to move on. (You probably should.)
  9. Try to surround yourself only with people who lift you higher. It's easy to associate with people who are convenient. People who found a way into your life and became familiar. Familiar does not always mean positive. If someone does not allow you to grow to your fullest potential, do not allow him or her to be a part of you. It's difficult to let go, but once you do, you realize that you should have done so long ago. Letting go will help you recognize the people who do, in fact, help lift you to all that you can be.
  10. "You have to take risks. We only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen." Paul Coelho sums it all up pretty nicely. If you don't provide yourself with opportunities to grow, you will remain stagnant. If you remain afraid of the "What will happens?" and the "What if I fails?" then you will never allow yourself the chance to become something remarkable. It is the initial moment of fear that opens the doors to limitless possibilities to learn and grow. Permit the presence of fear and apprehension. It is ok to be afraid. Just be sure to not let it consume you. The presence of fear can mean that something incredible is about to transpire. You never know if you don't try. It's cliché, but oh, so incredibly true.