As challenging and tumultuous of a year that 2015 was, it’s taught me a lot and I’m a better person because of it. Some things I learned from my own experiences and others from the people in my life. These are a few of the lessons that I’ll be taking into the new year with me.
Sometimes your best isn’t enough.
If you’re new to the blog, you probably don’t know that I undertook the task of trying to bring Greek Life to my small, private liberal arts school in Massachusetts. My college prohibits “gender discriminatory” or exclusive organizations, outruling any national fraternities or sororities. The school offered an alternative of a “social club” where anyone interested was automatically granted membership. Defiant and determined to bring actual Greek Life to my school, I sought to found a local sorority without school association. Delta Delta Theta got two and a half years of the best I had to offer. We had our highs and lows, but I was ultimately unable to inspire my classmates to embrace Greek Life, or my “sisters” to actually care for that matter. I tried, and I tried, and I tried again. But ultimately, no one had the passion or vision that I did. I was devastated and ashamed of my failure. But I’ve learned a lot, and I can look myself in the mirror knowing I did everything in my power to be the change I wanted to see.
Organization is everything.
From my sorority to my internships to my room, I’ve learned to appreciate what a difference organization makes. Being able to cross off items in an agenda and come home to a clean room is so inexplicably satisfying and reassuring. I’m still a hot mess with a long way to go in terms of keeping my life in order, but even with the small adjustments I’ve made, I’ve seen major improvements day to day and big picture.
You aren’t a loser until you quit trying.
I have struggled with my demons a lot this year, and on more than one occasion, I’ve wanted to completely give up. I lost all hope, and was convinced that I was going to die a miserable waste of potential and a disappointment to my parents. Sadly, there’s no amount of Elite Daily articles or self help infographics that will make a legitimate, lasting impact on anyone dealing with depression or anything like it. I made myself try even when I didn’t want to, and forced myself to get my act together. It’s never too late to start being better.
You aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
Everyone isn’t going to like you. Everyone isn’t going to think you’re pretty or funny or intelligent. Some people are going to swipe left on you on purpose. And that’s completely okay, because at the end of the day, you only need a few people in your corner: you, the people you love platonically, and the person you love romantically. And if they haven’t come along, that’s less opinions to worry about in the meantime.
Discipline and determination are 90% of accomplishing any goal.
This quote is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson: “I’m a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I find.” As much as liberals will try to convince you that how far you get in life is predetermined by your race, sex, sexual orientation, etc., you are directly in charge and responsible for what you amount to.
People rarely mean what they say for better or worse.
A person that I considered a friend said something to months ago that I never forgot. “I’ll never stop being your friend unless you kill my dog or f*ck my boyfriend.” As hilariously drunk as she was, that always meant a lot to me. In terms of friendships, college hasn’t exactly been a walk through the park, and I appreciated having a friend that seemed to be so genuine and loyal. But ultimately, her words were empty. People are unpredictable, and promises are broken. All you can do is wish them the best and refuse to let yourself become bitter and hardened.
You’re better off just going to the doctor.
When something weird happens, just go to the doctor. For the love of all that is good and mighty, just go to the doctor. Don’t WebMD it and convince yourself that you’re going to die in three days. Don’t ignore it for a month hoping it will just go away. Don’t let your weird hippie friend rub herbs on it. Just go to the damn doctor.
Whatever you are, be it boldly.
I’m conservative. I live in Boston, Massachusetts: City of Champions, but cesspool of liberalism. And I don’t just live here; I was born and raised here. This is where I went to high school. This is where the majority of my Facebook friends are from. And I’ve found myself reluctant to vocalize my views because I know they aren’t popular in my circles. And I refuse to keep silencing myself and complying with the unspoken rules of cult like, leftist groupthink. I’m going to speak my mind, and people are free to react as they see fit. But my cause matters more to me than some kid from my high school that I literally haven’t spoken to in four years. Don’t be afraid to stand boldly and unabashedly for who you are.
Life isn’t a rom com.
The guy you hooked up with on New Year’s Eve probably isn’t going to text you. You’re not going to awkwardly but adorably run into him a month from now at Starbucks, and he’s not going to buy your order for you and offer to take you to dinner. So the next time you do something because “who knows what could happen,” just know that “what” probably won’t and be smart.
No matter how badly you want him to be, sometimes he just isn’t the one.
You can think of a million captions for instagrams of you two and a million reasons why you would be perfect with someone, but those reasons don’t really ever mean anything, and you probably won’t get to use those captions. And as much as it can suck in the moment, you’re probably better off. As much as single girls hate hearing this, there is a world full of attractive, hilarious driven men out there. Why settle for the wrong one now and miss out on the right one later?
You’re your problem and your solution.
The vast majority of your problems are your fault, and you’re the only person that can fix them. We’re only as capable as we believe we are, and whether or not you become the person you want to be is almost entirely up to you.
College is overrated.
There are so many paths to success outside of the status quo that we’ve been taught is non-negotiable. The possibilities are endless, and you’d be surprised what doors open up for you when you take a more creative approach to building your career. It’s worth the long, difficult arguments with your parents. If you’re not sure that college is for you in the first place, there’s no need to immediately put yourself tens of thousands of dollars in debt.