I started my second semester of college today! I feel like this is now a good time to make a little post about what I’ve learned about myself, school, and life since I’ve been away at college.

This one might be obvious, but I feel that sometimes we all need to be reminded that people change. People are constantly changing and growing and recreating themselves. When I left for college, I had to leave behind some people who I was really close to, and for the entire semester I kept holding onto some hope (that wasn’t really there) that those people would still be there for me when I got back. Needless to say, I was disappointed and hurt when I came to the conclusion that some people can just walk out of your life without a care in the world. As much as that hurts to admit, sometimes you have to remember that the people who genuinely want to be in your life will make every effort possible to be there for you, and you deserve to only have those kinds of people in your life. You don’t need to waste your time on back-burner relationships. Accept that sometimes people change in a way that you don’t want to associate with anymore, and that’s okay.

Live in the moment. It wasn’t until I was home for 3 weeks that I realized how much I was trying to hold onto the past. I remember almost every morning I would wake up and check Timehop, and then reminisce about the past for way too long. I do believe that it’s good to reflect on past experiences and what you’ve learned, but dwelling on them for too long is pretty counterproductive, and can sometimes hinder you from seeing what amazing things are happening in your life now. Embrace the change that’s happening around you, and let it take you to new places.

Stop comparing yourself to others. In the social media age that we live in, comparing yourself to others is beyond easy to do. However, you’re never going to be satisfied if you live your life as a competition. When you let go of what others think of you and stop letting them control how you feel about yourself, you’ll realize that there is so much more to life than constantly trying to beat everyone at everything.

Look up from your phone. Seriously. College is about meeting new people and going on new adventures, right? How are you supposed to make new friends and build relationships when your face is buried in a screen every second of every day? The world has so much more to offer than play-by-play statuses and pictures, and if your eyes are always looking down then you’re missing out on potential memories to make.

Feel all the feels. Don’t invalidate what you’re feeling because society is telling you that what you’re feeling is not right. Write down what you’re feeling in a journal or notebook, or go talk to someone who will listen without trying to shut you down. Bottling up emotions has never helped anyone, and denying the feelings that you’re experiencing isn’t good for you. Remind yourself that no one really has their life figured out. We’re all on the same rollercoaster that is life, so don’t beat yourself up too much.

Don’t give up. It’s going to be ok. Sometimes you may feel lost, like you don’t belong anywhere. Or maybe you’ll feel like the work you’re doing is pointless and a waste of your time. Every experience you go through teaches you something along the way, and in the long run, it will all be worth it.

Remember, you belong everywhere

-Derrick C. Brown



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