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- Find a passion– this is a big one for myself, and I think a lot of other college students as well. Not even just college students I think everyone struggles with it! We get so caught up with career paths and what brings in the moolah that we forget what we’re living for. So this new years I challenge you to something: try and find your passion. Find what makes you smile and feel genuine- and stick with it! Even if it is something you do on the side as a hobby, why not enjoy life a little? And if you’re lucky and can turn that passion into a job- even better.
- Take on a new hobby… or 5– like I said before, we get so caught up in the technical parts of life and planning for the future that we forget to live in the now. I know what you’re thinking “I just don’t have time” and trust me I feel it too but it doesn’t have to be super time consuming! Take up reading with your coffee in the morning, or jogging, or cooking! For me, this blog is a new hobby, and it has really brightened up my days. Is drinking wine a hobby? Yeah I think so
- Try waking up earlier– even if its just 30 minutes, really try and get yourself out of bed a little earlier before your daily routine and have some you time! Get your coffee, sit on your back patio and enjoy a refreshing breath of fresh air before you hectic day- it’l start you out on the right foot. Nothing is worse than waking up late and being stressed all day!
- Chill on the Netflix– okay I said chill…. not get rid of completely! I am extremely guilty of getting sucked into a good new TV show and letting it take over my life until I have watched every season possible. But I got to thinking, what am I really doing during this time? I’m just sitting here and becoming mush infront of the TV. Why not use this time to go out with friends and have a drink? Or take my dog on an adventure to the dog park? Trade in your Netflix and chilling for a new adventure every now and then
- Call your family more often– everytime I call my mom she gets so excited shes practically yelling at me through the phone. Why? Because I am hardly ever the one initiating the phone call! I don’t mean call when you need money or have a question on how to iron your dress, I mean call them to actually see how their day is going. We forget so often that our parents aren’t just our parents, their people who need attention and to vent just as much as we do! So please, go call your mother right now.
- Actually go to your classes- you may be one of those people who can learn just by reading the text book alone but trust me youre not getting the most of your education that way! Get off your butt and go to class- have that face to face time with your professors and make study groups with your class mates! It may not seem important when you’re a freshman or sophmore- but trust me when graduation is around the corner you’re going to want those close relationships with your professors for rec letters, networking and just experience in general! Go. To. Class.
- Open yourself up to learning everything you can-whenever you can- my dad really encouraged me to do this recently and I think hes right. I’m so used to learning from my classes that I don’t even realize that some of the most important things you can learn aren’t tought in a classroom. This year just try and learn more. Your dad offers to teach you how to work on your cars engine? Do it. Your grandma wants to teach you how to sew? Why not! It’s just another skill you’re adding to your personal resume and one less thing you have to google directions for.
- The cliché “get back in shape” resolution”- everyone knows it too well. “This is the year I really do it! I’m going to start working out again”. Trust me, I’d love to fit into my highschool jeans again too but don’t just do it for that! Instead, focus on being happier and healthier from the inside out. This doesn’t mean you have to drop that burger youre eating right now or buy a new gym membership. How about just gradually adding some new things to your diet? A smoothie in the morning, more water throughout the day- and once you start feeling better you’re not going to be able to stop. Find something active you enjoy doing and start fitting it into your schedule! You’d be surprised how overtime little changes add up- doing it all at once is overwhelming and most people give up because of it.
- Become a list maker- for all you busy bodies out there like me let me share a little secret: writing things down will make you fell 100x better. My mind moves a thousand miles a minute and after a while keeping it all inside adds crazy stress to my day. I like to get out a piece of paper and just word-vomit all my thoughts and To-Do’s onto it. Once you make that list and start slowly checking things off, it’s almost like your accomplishing more! I don’t know what it is about making lists that relaxes the brain but really, its like therapy.
- Start appreciating your hard earned things- we get so caught up in this I need more, more, more kinda attitude that we forget about the awesome stuff we already have! No, you don’t need another pair of black heels, you have 6 pairs in your closet feeling very neglected right now. And your poor car has become a graveyard for old fast food bags. Actually take care of your things! And stop buying into this idea that you always need the shiny new version of what you already have- it’s all just marketing techniques (trust me, I’m a marketing major, I know.) and while were on the topic of things….
- Stop using people, and loving things- how about, instead, you use things and love people? When it comes down to it, your new Michael Khors bag isn’t going to be the one standing beside you on your wedding day. NO! You’re friends and family are! Start concentrating on the people in your life, not things. After all “the best things in life aren’t even things at all.”
- Be positive- even when it’s hard- life is hard. Theres a lot of little things that happen during your day that can directly affect your mood. A car honking at you. Your boss is being a real dick again. I hear ya. But it’s all about how you react! I watched an awesome TED talk recently on the science of being happy. People come home from work and concentrate on venting only about the negatives of their day- but what if you reframed this thinking? Instead, when you get home at the end of the day think about 3 good things that happened that day, no matter how small. You’ll start looking throughout your day on what your positive 3 things will be! And you’ll start surrounding yourself with positivity. Seriously try it, I did. I felt silly at first but I really did start looking for the positives instead of pointing out the negatives.
- Get outside! There is something so calming about nature. Detatching yourself from your cell phone and stepping outside for a breath of fresh air is almost like a reset button for your sanity. Take a walk, go for a hike, or just sit on your back porch- it doesn’t matter! Just take some time to appreciate your surroundings beyond the 4 walls of your room.
- Dream a little- or a lot! I’m a dreamer. I always have been. I want to do a million things and travel everywhere I possibly can and honestly it’s that dreaming of the next adventure that gets me through some of the boring stuff. Plan that crazy vacation you’ve always wanted to go on with your friends. Make up your own version of how you want your life to be in 10 years- just keep dreaming and don’t contain yourself to being realistic. It’s fun! And who knows, you might just make one of those dreams a reality.
- Stop playing the blame game- instead of blaming others when things don’t go as planned, have the strength to realize what is out of your control and what may actually be partly your fault. Once you start actually dealing with problems instead of deflecting them on others youll be able to find solutions- and be much more approachable to other people. This one is a relationship saver.
- Don’t be afraid to do things alone- so often I feel held back from doing something I really want to do because all of my friends are busy. I really want to go to this new coffee place, but none of my friends can go, and I don’t want to look like that weirdo that goes alone, I’ll just go another time. Screw that! Go to that coffee place and be that bad ass that can enjoy being by themselves. Trust me, people really won’t notice as much as you think they would. And if you own it and are confident enough to do things on your own- most of the time people admire that.
- Create your own set of morals and stick to them- when I grew up in my parents house I lived by their rules, and took on their morals. But when I got to college I was kind of lost in what was wrong and right! Really think about what you consider is wrong and right and stick to them. Don’t let others skew your view. Live by your own principles- it makes decision making much easier.
Like Love yourself- when it comes down to it, the person you are stuck with for the rest of your life is yourself. So really try and build a person who you genuinely like- and love yourself! My almost 90 year old grandmother imparted me with this wisdom recently, out of the blue- it was really random actually (I’m sure I’m not the only one with a hopelessly random grandmother). She said “Emily. Do you like yourself?” I was caught so off guard and it really got me thinking- if I met me, would I like me? Ask yourself that question, and figure out what it would take for you to say yes to it. If you work on building someone you genuinely love, I promise you will be a happier person.