How I Met Your Mother, Toltec Wisdom and Letting Go

images“Oh, if you could just let go.” – Mae, Just Let Go

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For some of us, September marks the beginning of a new year. For others, it simply points out that the old year is almost 3/4ths over. Still, I like to think of this time as a new start, whether you’re embarking on a new school year or celebrating the Jewish High Holy Days, and with every beginning should come its fair share of reflection.

Recently, I looked back on my previous year and realized just how much anger and resentment I had for some of the things in my life that hadn’t gone as I’d hoped. Not only did I recognize my own grudges, but I also picked up on some of the grudges that others around me had held. It seemed that everyone I knew had lost a friend, endured a difficult breakup, missed an important opportunity or failed at something they truly wanted. We may not have realized it, but we were walking around each day with a chip on our shoulders, an air of disappointment or a certain sadness we couldn’t shake.

IMG_3431I recognized this in myself and in others, but the solution didn’t hit me until about a week ago, when I was watching a rerun of How I Met Your Mother. In the episode after Ted, the protagonist, gets left at the altar, he thinks about what he would say to his ex-fiancee if he had the chance. Finally, he comes to this conclusion, which Older Ted narrates to his future children:

“Kids, you may think your only choices are to swallow your anger or throw it in someone’s face, but there’s a third option: you can just let it go, and only when you do that is it really gone and you can move forward.”

It sounds so simple, but all too often we take the “easier” road of resentment, in which we either act on our anger toward others or we keep it bottled up. Of course, neither reaction is a healthy one, and even when we display our anger openly, it rarely helps the situation. I think that a huge part of the problem is that we don’t trust ourselves to find our happiness from within; our self-worth is so defined by others that we can’t allow ourselves to let go of the past.

51MfVDOlEkLIn his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says, “If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from youWalking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

When you walk away from something that isn’t right for you — whether that is a relationship, friendship, job or anything else — you have to trust yourself and move on. Wallowing in the past and not accepting the things you can’t control will only embitter you further.

Take a moment today to break free from something that has been holding you back, and allow yourself to finally let go. It may take some time, but it will be worth the effort and will be the best way to begin anew.

The Freshman 15: Advice From Readers (Year 2)

Today I bring you a very exciting blog. For this month’s Freshman 15, I asked 15 college students and alumni to share their advice for navigating university life, based on their own experiences (much like last year’s blog!). We have an amazing group of contributors: documentary filmmakers, contestants and cast members from America’s Next Top Model and Real World, the owner of an organic vegan blog/brand, website creators, you name it. Enjoy the wise words of some of the coolest college students and grads that I’ve met, and feel free to add your own in the comments section below!

The Freshman 15: Advice From Readers (Year 2)

1. Enjoy life outside of the classroom.
In college, you will do more learning out of the classroom than you will do in it. Don’t forget to grow as a person as you grow academically. This will eventually prove so much more important–in your personal and professional lives–than the specifics you learned in lectures.
— Alexandra Govere (Real World: San Diego), Stanford University, Civil Engineering Major (@alexgovere)
Blog: The High Fiver 

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2. Learn for learning’s sake.
While it’s important to take classes that will help you reach your chosen profession, be sure to take a few on some things you would enjoy learning. These fun classes will offer a break from the stress of your regular course load and provide the chance to learn about something you find interesting. And you never know, these fun classes could lead to new friendships and a world of new opportunities that you never considered before!
— Monica Monticello, University of Central Florida, English Major

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3. Communicate with faculty.
Talk to your professors! They can’t help you or work with you in the event of an absence if they don’t know who you are! You can do this by asking them about something you don’t understand, or telling them how much you liked a video they showed during their lecture. Talk to them face-to-face whenever possible.
— Rachel Milock, University of South Carolina, Information Science Major (@singyouhome)

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4. Stay organized!
My biggest tip to balancing school and other things would be to stay extremely organized. I keep a planner (not in my phone or computer) and color code classes and events so I never forget about anything. As soon as I get the class syllabus I split up the work evenly every week until test time/assignment due date. A few days before an assignment is due or an exam is going to take place, I’ll write down to study for it/make sure everything is finished. It helps to be redundant…if I only write an assignments due date on the actual date, the chances of me remembering it before the day it’s due is slim to none.
— Nicole Lucas (America’s Next Top Model), University of Central Florida, Psychology Major and Marketing Minor (@NicoleMLucas)

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5. Stay in the present.
Make sure you don’t spend all your time worrying about the future. It’s good to have the go-getter attitude and want to make sure you’re going to have a job/acceptance letter at the end of these four years, but it’s also important to make the most of your college experience. Play hooky for a day, join a bunch of clubs, start an organization – those are the stories you’re going to share someday.
— Mina Radman, University of Florida, Journalism Major

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6. You don’t have to party.
Although “college” is often synonymous with parties, it’s okay if that’s not your scene. Contrary to popular belief, people won’t think you’re a “loser” just because you decline an invitation to party with them. There are a community of people on every college campus who prefer to play board games on Friday nights rather than go to frat parties. Various organizations (such as religious groups, Student Union Board, etc.) often host fun (and free!) events on weekends, which are great for meeting people with similar interests who aren’t into the party scene. Also, don’t be afraid to go to those events alone. You may arrive alone, but you’ll likely leave with a few new acquaintances and a few more numbers in your phone’s contacts!
— Tori Twine, Elon University, Cinema Major (@toritwine)

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7. Manage your time.
Learn time management and learn it fast!
— Logan Kriete, University of Central Florida, Radio/Television Major (@logankriete)

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8. Stay excited.
Most freshmen have a period of heightened sociality during their first year at college. They’re more willing to attend study groups, talk to strangers, and join campus organizations. However, as the excitement of college-life begins to fade, I’ve noticed those same freshmen (including myself) are inclined to draw back socially. So as freshmen, I urge you to hold on to that bit of excitement you’re feeling right now, and make it last! Continue to get involved on campus and with your peers throughout your college career. The rest of your college years will thank you for it!
— Marilyn Malara, Florida State University, Editing/Writing/Media Major (@wowmarilyn)
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9. Experience everything you can.
Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. So take a risk and try something new. Be someone who says “yes.” You never know when a leadership position, unfamiliar class, study abroad experience, challenging internship, new friend, or even a ridiculous past time like line dancing will change your life. If you leave college with just a degree, you truly missed out.
— Jamie Gregor, University of Central Florida, Advertising/Public Relations and Marketing Major (@jamiegregor)
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10. Stop comparing.
If I could do one thing over when I was in university it would be to stop comparing myself with other women. I used to always think that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough and I spent so much time unhappy with myself and struggling with an eating disorder. I missed out on so much. When I look back at pictures of this time in my life I feel sad for all the things I missed out on. Instead of seeing someone who needed to lose weight or who wasn’t beautiful enough, I see someone with so much possibility, love, and beauty. I just wish I could have seen it at the time. So my advice is to appreciate what you have NOW. Stop wishing to be someone else or to have someone else’s body. Stop telling yourself you are too fat to go out. Work with what you have and hold your head up high. Don’t let this time pass you by!
— Angela Liddon, University of Guelph, Psychology Major (Blog: Oh She Glows)
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11. Keep a calendar.
Keep a calendar either digital or old fashioned. I have yet to update to a fancy phone so I still have a paper and pencil calendar. You can not only use it to keep track of appointments, events and classes but also to remember when you should study and when you have tests coming up.
— Rebekah Callari, University of Central Florida, Molecular & Microbiology Major
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12. Get out of your comfort zone.
Do what terrifies you. My sophomore year of college, introverted and disconnected, I agreed, with some coaxing, to put my name on an email list for the student newspaper. A year later, I was one of the top staff writers for the news section, churning out several stories each issue. Figure out why you’re afraid of something and make sure you’re running for the right reasons. I wasn’t. But plunging headfirst into journalism taught me more than how to write. It brought me into a circle of equally passionate writers.
— Kaleigh Somers, James Madison University, Media Arts & Design Major (Blog: HUGstronger)
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13. Trust cautiously.
Be careful whom you trust: Just because they live with you, sit next to you in class, or are in a club with you, does not guarantee that they will keep your secrets. Think twice before spilling your soul to someone you’ve only known for a few weeks. They are still capable of judging you and betraying you. College is a scary place, but don’t rush into friendships right away. Good things take time, and you will thank yourself for waiting before opening up to people.
— Shannon Payne, University of Central Florida, Anthropology Major (@shannon_nicolle)

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14. Don’t date your neighbors.
Dear freshmen, my golden rule for college life — well actually, life in general — is to not date someone that lives in your dorm or a co worker. It might seem cool at first since you get to see each other all the time but that gets old as quick as Drawing with Friends! Unless you love drama and tears by all means live and learn!
— Zhe Liu, University of Hawaii, Psychology Major
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15. Know who to turn to.
In college, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Studying too hard, participating in too much, and sleeping too little can inevitably lead to a more stressed-out you. Never forget that college is an excellent opportunity to build a “safety net” of new friends and acquaintances who are there to keep you sane, calm you down and boost you up when you need them most. Also, don’t forget that mom and dad are just a phone call away.
— Robert Gottfried, University of Central Florida, Legal Studies Major (@thegottfried)

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Thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog — you are all amazing!

Putting Faith in Walls: A Lesson in Strength and Vulnerability

“You know the difference between strength and imperviousness, right? Well, a substance that is impervious to damage doesn’t need to be strong. When you and I met, I was an impervious substance. Now I’m a strong substance.” – Bones

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Whether or not we choose to admit it, every single one of us has put up a metaphorical wall at one point or another. When we separate ourselves from difficult situations and keep others at arm’s length, we use these “walls” to protect ourselves from the world around us. By not allowing anything to hurt us, we are (as Dr. Brennan of Bones might suggest) impervious to damage.

With the threat of possible failure in mind, a lot of people choose to never step out of their comfort zones or try new things. After all, why would anyone logically want to enter a relationship if they were aware of the risk of heartbreak that comes with it? Likewise, why apply for the job you want without a 100 percent guarantee that you will get it?

All too often, we believe that by avoiding any possible situation that could lead to disappointment, we are doing ourselves a favor — in essence, we think that we are “maintaining our strength.” Little do we realize, however, that being strong does not mean lacking vulnerability. (Tweet this!)

Our strength lies in the unexpected disappointments, the harsh rejections, the complicated and messy breakups, and the way we handle them all. We become strong when we cope with the challenges that life presents us, usually when we open ourselves up and accept that we cannot control the outcome of every situation.

As Ray Lamontagne sings in his song Be Here Now, “Don’t put your trust in walls ’cause walls will only crush you when they fall.” To me, this means that the walls you put up now will not protect you forever. Eventually, we will all struggle with something, but if we have never truly opened ourselves up to failure before, we haven’t already built up that strength that allows us to overcome our circumstances. In this case, without our impervious shells, we are unable to fend for ourselves.

It is easy for us to put our trust in walls and distance ourselves from the world. However, my dear readers, this week I would like to challenge you to take a small leap of faith in just one area of your life. Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

The Margin of Error: Surviving in a Cynical World

“Maybe 99 of 100 people will disappoint you. But I don’t know, I think you find the magic of the world in the margin of error.” – Hart of Dixie

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The other night, as I sat down to watch my latest guilty pleasure show, Hart of Dixie, I was pleasantly surprised by the heartwarming turn of events (as I seem to be every week). For those who are unfamiliar with the show, Rachel Bilson stars as the cynical and often impersonal Zoe Hart, a New York City-trained doctor who winds up in Bluebell, Alabama. In this week’s episode, Zoe must suspend disbelief when even science gives her a 99 percent chance of being right about a diagnosis that the rest of the town disputes.

Zoe claims that the leftover one percent stands for mere margin of error rather than admitting that sometimes people will prove her wrong. The episode is all about having faith in other people and not letting our past experiences cloud all of our judgments in the future.

Too many of us become jaded in order to protect ourselves from heartbreak and disappointment. If we freeze the world out, we are less likely to be hurt. But we freeze the world out, we close ourselves off to some of the most fulfilling relationships we never knew we had.

Blind trust is a bad thing, but I’m a firm believer in cautious trust — letting others in gradually, allowing them to prove their trustworthiness over time. Ultimately, others will hurt you, but as Lavon Hayes (one of the characters on Hart of Dixie) says, the magic of the world comes in that margin of error, the 1 percent who surprise you and renew your faith in friendship and love and kindness. As difficult as it may be, sometimes we need to shut out our own cynical thoughts and remind ourselves of why the world is so beautiful.

The Friday Five: Lessons Learned at 20

Every year, our experiences shape us into the grown-up person we will someday become. Although I just began my junior year of college, I still can’t believe that society already considers me somewhat an adult. However, yesterday I turned 21, and here I am — a little older and a little wiser than I was last year.

For this week’s Friday Five, I will share just a few of the lessons I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) since my 20th birthday. Feel free to comment with some of the lessons you learned at 20. 🙂

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The Friday Five: Lessons Learned at 20

1. True friends are irreplaceable. Don’t trust in others too quickly, but be sure to give others a chance.

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2. Sometimes, what you always wanted isn’t what it was cracked up to be. Set new goals when the old ones aren’t working out.

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3. Dish soap does not go in the dishwasher, unless you want your apartment to be filled with bubbles.

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4. The people closest to you have your best interests in mind. If your friends hate your significant other and you feel the need to hide the relationship, then that raises a red flag.

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5. Being positive and upbeat generally attracts positive and upbeat opportunities and situations.

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(Author’s Note: Sorry for such a lack of writing in the past couple of weeks– my life has been busy beyond belief!)

The Freshman 15: College Relationship Tips

With pink and red decor filling the shops, jewelry commercials dominating the airwaves and delicious chocolates hitting the shelves, it is easy to see that Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day, depending on your perspective) is here. No matter where you go — work, school, lunch, the grocery store — you can’t completely escape this holiday, whether you like it or not.

Regardless of any romantic entanglements this year, I though that this month would be the perfect time to address college relationships in this month’s Freshman 15. Whether you’re single or taken, these tips will help you navigate any college relationship. Tweet this!

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The Freshman 15: College Relationship Tips

1. Don’t force a relationship out of nothing.
I see this happen to college students quite often. A boy and a girl who consider each other somewhat attractive wind up in a compromising situation that leads to some kind of hook-up, and the next day, feel obligated to call it a relationship. Maybe it’s a guilt thing; if things work out, they can later say it was “love at first sight,” that they looked into each other’s eyes and just knew. Or maybe this is just their way of following one of those romantic comedy misconceptions — the idea that a random hook-up will ultimately become your soulmate. It happened to Emily and Oliver in A Lot Like Love, it happened to Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and it happened to Blair and Chuck on Gossip Girl. The truth is, although these types of relationships seem ideal in the movies, that isn’t always the case in real life. Don’t force a relationship out of thin air; accept that some attraction is fleeting. (Editor’s Note: Don’t deny chemistry, either. If you already liked the person and you happened to end up in the aforementioned compromising situation, don’t write things off completely if there might be something there.)

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2. Never trust too easily.
Let’s face it – not everyone has the best of intentions. One difference between high school and college relationships is that in high school, you have a smaller pool of potential boyfriends and girlfriends, and it is likely you have known most of them since you were kids. Therefore, even though people change over time, your judgment in choosing a significant other is probably better because you have known these people for a while. In college, however, you are often thrust into a completely new social circle, and because of this, you don’t know much about the true character of that cute guy you met in the dining hall. You don’t need to be completely paranoid, but be careful when you place your trust in others. Don’t open yourself up to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

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3. Avoid comparisons.
Chances are, you and your significant other will probably tell stories about exes from time to time, and that is totally normal. However, don’t go on too much about your past relationships. There is a reason those ended, and if all you ever do is talk about all the nice things your ex did, your current significant other will probably either feel inadequate or annoyed.

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4. Keep some things to yourself.
Although your friends are probably thrilled for you, they don’t need to hear every last detail about how much you love your significant other or how the two of you spend every second of the day. This is a real life case of “Don’t kiss and tell!”

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5. First impressions will only take you so far.
Yes, first impressions are important in many scenarios, but keep in mind that things can change over time. For example, at my freshman orientation at college, the guy I thought disliked me and was too cool for me wound up becoming one of my best friends. Conversely, there have been times when I met people and thought we would be close, and they ended up disappointing me. You have to be receptive to the way people change, and be open to the fact that some people may surprise you (in good or bad ways).

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6. Go on dates.
This may sound obvious enough, but so many people forget about dating and end up sinking right into a married couple routine. Comfort is great, but in your late teens and early twenties, do you really want to lose all sense of romance? Hanging out in a dorm room all the time can get boring really quickly. Don’t let that happen to you while you are still in college!

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7. Avoid U-Hauling.
In the past, I have cited U-Hauling (or the phenomenon of a relationship moving way too quickly, to the point where you have practically moved in together after a few weeks) as one of the major problems of college relationships. In general, college relationships tend to be accelerated forms of adult relationships — especially when you’re in the dorm rooms — because your social lives begin to meld into your home lives. Early on, it’s likely you will run into each other getting groceries, doing laundry, taking out trash, completing chores, etc. If your significant other’s parents are in town, it is also likely you will meet them regardless of how long you have been dating. While many of these things are inevitable, it is important to maintain some semblance of mystery in the relationship. Don’t spend every waking moment together. (Editor’s note: I would like to credit my friend Jen for introducing me to the whole U-Hauling concept. Her blog entry about it was pretty informative!)

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8. Don’t neglect your friends.
You only have so much free time, so it can be difficult to distribute it equally between your friends and your boyfriend or girlfriend. However, you have to keep your friends in mind — even when your significant other is a temporary fixture (which, chances are, he/she is), your friends are a more permanent part of your life, and if you ignore them completely in favor of “love,” they might not be as willing to take care of you if and when your relationship ends.

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9. Don’t go in with the intention of “fixing” someone.
No one is perfect, but if you go into a relationship knowing exactly what you want to change about the person, then maybe you shouldn’t go into that relationship in the first place. You cannot control other people, and you should never strive to.

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10. Make time for yourself.
Ultimately, you should be your biggest priority. While it is good to spend time with your significant other, you shouldn’t spend all of your time with him or her. It is important to spend some time alone, focusing only on yourself. You have plenty of time to worry about others.

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11. Mind games are only for players.
If someone is playing the jealousy game with you, it is time to end it. Sure, other people may be attracted to you or your significant other, but flattering as it may be, it shouldn’t matter. And you shouldn’t bring it up in the relationship every chance you get. There is never a reason to try and make someone jealous; if you feel the need to play games, then maybe your relationship isn’t working out.

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12. Be careful about letting friendships develop into more.
Although pop culture would lead us to believe that our best friends are our soulmates, we have to be a little more discerning than that. While we may be compatible and comfortable with those people, the state of the relationship completely changes when you try and turn it into something more. If you don’t stay together, then you may be sacrificing a friendship completely by dating that person. The relationship may be wonderful, but you have to distinguish that before you do anything to alter the course of that friendship.

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13. Don’t place all of your self worth in the relationship.
You are worth more than simply who you are with. A relationship can be great, but it isn’t everything that makes up who you are, and you have to remember that. Regardless of whether or not you are with someone, you still have a lot to offer, and your happiness shouldn’t hinge entirely on how one person feels about you.

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14. If it didn’t work out the first time, it probably won’t ever work out.
There is always that one couple who breaks up and gets back together nearly as often as they change outfits. (Think Sam and Ronnie from Jersey Shore.) Regardless of how they feel about each other at the time, the underlying problems are always there, waiting to cause another scene. When you break up with someone, you have to do so knowing that you will not get back together with that person, especially if they commit one of the major deal-breakers: verbal or physical abuse, cheating on you, etc. None of those things are okay, and you should never accept them by returning to the person who wronged you in the first place.

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15. If you aren’t in a relationship, worry about something else.
There are plenty of perks to being single, and even if you do have someone who catches your eye, you should direct your energy toward other things: keeping your grades up, getting involved in things you love and bettering yourself as a human being. Work on accomplishing your goals that don’t focus entirely on other people.

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What are some of your tips for college relationships? Comment below with your own advice. If there are any other topics you would like to cover in future Freshman 15 articles, please let me know!

How To Start Over When You’re Halfway Through

Next Monday, I will begin the spring semester of my sophomore year of college, but it feels like just yesterday I was packing my bags and getting ready for the beginning of summer classes. A lot has changed in the six or seven months since then, both personally and professionally, and while some aspects have been enjoyable and fulfilling, I’ve definitely had my share of crappy-life-lesson/”character-building” moments throughout these past two semesters as well. After experiencing the best freshman year I could have ever hoped for (minus, of course, constantly getting sick), I found sophomore year to be a bit of a letdown.

However, looking past all the obstacles, I realized that my year isn’t over. I can change its course if I want to — and I will — toward something much brighter. I don’t have to look at the aforementioned highs and lows and then call the entire year a failure; instead, I can work on making this spring even sunnier than the last.

So for those of you in a bit of a rut this year, looking to reinvent yourselves or improve your circumstances, here are just a few quick goals you may want to work toward in the coming months:

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♥ Do what you want to do; forget who’s watching you.
When we worry so much about what others think of our actions, we let their values dictate our own. Instead of constantly tiptoeing around others’ feelings, let’s remember to decide for ourselves what is best for us and how we should lead our lives.

Figure out your priorities.
You can only wind yourself so tightly with commitments before you begin to unravel. I’m not saying to quit the things you love or need, but learn how to manage it all so that you can still get full nights of sleep and not feel like you’re sacrificing something better.

Spend more time outside.
I don’t care how brightly decorated or well-lit your dorm is — it is no match for a cloudless, sunny day. Change your scenery by abandoning your room and heading outside into the fresh air. Do your homework by the pond, catch up on your reading on the benches near your building or take a long stroll with a friend during the limited down-time you both have.

Don’t neglect your health.
Eat the brain foods that will keep you going and throw out the junk food that makes you crash. Hit the gym for an hour or search for workout videos on YouTube. Don’t treat your health as a last priority; you have one body, and the better you treat it, the better it will treat you.

Avoid dramatic situations.
Easier said than done, of course, but try your best to stay away from those toxic relationships and untrustworthy “confidantes” who are mostly looking out for themselves. When you feel yourself being sucked into such situations, remind yourself that you have no time for those things, and steer clear. Had I followed my own advice in the past two semesters, I would have been much more productive.

Remember that nothing good happens after midnight.
Yes, it is extremely hypocritical of me to say that at this hour, but it’s something I plan to work on! What I mean by that phrase is that it’s important to get your beauty rest, especially during the week (because, let’s face it, we’re usually out till much later on the weekends – and rightfully so). Besides, nothing good can come of that late-night text or Facebook IM. Shut off your phone and computer and get some rest — trust me, it’s better for you.

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What are you looking to change in the upcoming semester?

The Truth About Trust

Every day, life presents us with a new series of challenges. As students, we must find the perfect balance between school, work and our social lives, and sometimes this can be difficult to manage. We will have our ups and downs, our highs and lows, but we recognize that everything in our lives is subject to change.

As someone who adjusted very well to college life in the first year, I can honestly say that I didn’t run into many problems until recently. With a successful freshman year behind me, my love affair with school remained strong until early in the fall semester of sophomore year, when reality began to kick in. Suddenly I was forced to question many of the personal decisions I had made, including several regarding trust, and I realized that life really isn’t all roses.

In fact, the issue of trust has been an important one for me. As someone who tries to see the good in everyone, I hate to think that people would ever take advantage of that optimism, or that seemingly strong friendships could dissolve quickly because of that. But as I’ve begun to face some more difficult situations at school, I’ve realized that trust isn’t something you can give away so quickly, even if you want to.

It’s a trickier situation in college than in high school because relationships have to accelerate much faster here than anywhere else. As a university student on your own, it makes sense that you’d want to find your group of friends early on — it gets lonely without a support network! Because of this, you get to know the people you’ve befriended much faster than you would typically get to know someone you met on the street. People dive into best-friendships, bromances and relationships all too suddenly because of this need to avoid loneliness.

However, when forming those bonds, it’s important to slow down the process as much as you can. You can’t tell a stranger your innermost thoughts and dreams; you have to let the friendship develop further before you can even begin to tell your life story. People aren’t always who they say they are, and it may take you months to figure that out.

I’m not saying that you need to be completely paranoid and skeptical, but just be aware that not everyone will prove to be the great friend or significant other you hoped they might become, and don’t start to really confide in those people until you’ve taken the time to get to know their personalities and tendencies.

Trust is only valuable when deserved.Tweet this!