I graduated college last month and already those monumental four years feel eons away. I can barely even recall what being eighteen was really like, bright-eyed, fresh out of high school with ample energy and endless possibilities. Now as a twenty-something graduate I feel the same jittery desire to explore this world and discover my part in it. Sure there’s pressure to have a 9-5 office job and a 401k, but I always knew that wouldn’t be my path. I’m too young and restless to settle down when I know there are so many opportunities sans security– frightening, yet exhilarating. Regardless of the future, my recent past has thrown me through the highest of the highs and seriously rock bottom lows. Here were some lessons learned…
1. Nothing and nobody lasts forever.
2. If you can find genuine happiness completely alone you will be able to conquer anything.
3. Don’t take life too seriously. Sometimes it is ok to ignore the world’s chaos and live in a dream.
4. Everything will work out, stop stressing.
5. Don’t dwell on the past, it will kill you.
6. Value the relationship you have with your family. They are the only ones that will love you even when they hate you.
7. Don’t feel guilty for not liking what everyone else does. It is actually cool to have a different outlook.
8. No shame in staying in on a Thursday night, but don’t let it be every Thursday night.
9. Eighteen-years-old and twenty-one-years-old are vastly different.
10. Take advantage of sleeping in and staying up late, soon you’ll have a “real” job.
11. Be “that girl” at least once so that you can understand her. No judgement.
12. Don’t feel guilty for not having your future planned out, there’s no rush. Refer to #4.
13. Even if he asks for your number it doesn’t mean he will call. Boys are disposable, soon a man will come around and change your mind.
14. Talk to strangers, that quite kid in class, or even the intimidating cool one just because you can. No one is superior to you.
15. Go to a frat party even if you hate it. In no other time of your life will it be socially acceptable to return.
16. Get stupidly drunk at least once…or twice.
18. The most valuable lessons will be learned outside of the classroom so don’t worry about grades.
19. Know your worth and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
20. Join a club and take a class outside of your major. You might just meet some of your best friends.
21. Take a lot of pictures, but remember to be present in the moment. You won’t care about your selfies in twenty years from now.
22. Cut out negative people. Seriously, there is no time to waste on bad vibes.
23. Remember there is a life outside of school and one after. Value your time.
These don’t have to be the best four years of your life and frankly they shouldn’t be… what would you have to look forward to?