Because I’m 21 and Feel Like I’ve Learned A Lot

October 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

So there comes a time in everyone’s life when they turn 21. Trust me, it happens. And at this time we feel as though we know things about life. Or maybe it’s that we know and have experienced so little it tricks us into thinking we know things. I swear, you can find about 60 blogs titled “20 things I learned by time I was 20”. Google it. Either way, I’m 21, a senior in college and feel as though I have a few things I need to share with ya’ll. Maybe it’s perspective. Perspective for the high schoolers who think they know everything about life (it’s cool I knew nothing everything too at your age), for the early twentiers who feel like the only ones who are lost, for the post twentiers who think we don’t know anything (I promise, we have had some life experience worth listening to). And we’re off.

1. Nobody knows what they’re doing. This is so important to remember. Heading into the “real world” I feel as though everyone has their life together. They know what they want, where they want to go, who they want to be. Truth is, nobody knows anything. 74% of college graduates don’t choose a career related to their degree. Seventy four percent! I’m kidding, I made that statistic up. But really, a ton of people do that. So if you don’t know what you’re doing, join the club. We’re getting t-shirts.

2. It’s ok to be poor. It’s actually kind of fun. And by fun I mean it’s terrifying and liberating and worryful (not a word) and adventurous. Being poor, especially when you’re young, gives you a chance to learn the difference between want and need. One of the most important things to learn. It also teaches you how to save. Yes, it means you can’t go get that frozen yogurt with your friends. It means you may have to eat soup a few times a week. But let’s be serious, soup is amazing. Understanding and appreciating the hard work you put in to making that money you have is rewarding. Be proud of living paycheck to paycheck. It makes grocery shopping so much more creative!

3. Suck up to your superiors. This sounds shallow. But it’s life. You will never understand how important it is to be nice and professional to those who decide your future until you understand. Be friends with your professors. They know everyone and that will help you get a job. Be polite and professional to your boss. She will make your job easier to go to and will give you a killer recommendation when you need to leave. Be a schmoozer but that doesn’t mean you bring in cupcakes to your professor’s office hours. Be nice, be polite, be professional.

4. Don’t let others’ happiness make you feel less about yours. This is tricky. A lot of your friends will get really opportunities and it will seem like they didn’t even try, when you’ve sent your resume to 20 different people without any positive response. Just because something great happened to them, does not mean your opportunities and accomplishments are any less great. Congratulate them (without resentment and sarcasm) and keep your eyes ahead. Move forward and work even harder. Let it motivate you, not destroy you.

5. Take education seriously, and don’t take life too seriously. Best advise I have ever been given. You will never get another opportunity like high school or college ever again. You get 4 years to learn in an environment where the sole purpose is for you to learn. You have absolutely no other responsibilities but to understand and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Don’t take advantage of that. Take classes that interest you and challenge you. Quench your thirst for knowledge. (That was cheesy). On the other hand, don’t take life too seriously. The real world is important and inevitable. You need a job, you need responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring. Do something you love, go places you’ve never been. Don’t consume yourself with work. Don’t let The Man get you down!

6. Don’t settle. This is applicable to every single aspect of your life. If there’s something you’re not happy about in your life change it. It’s pretty incredible that you have the power to do that. My dad always asks me “Are you happy with your life?” he then follows that up with “Because if you’re not I want to make sure it’s not permanent.” It’s ok not to be happy all the time. No one can be. But if that unhappiness continues for awhile, you need to fix it. Don’t settle for that boyfriend who only calls you when he feels like. Don’t settle for living near home when you wanted to live 8+ states away. Don’t settle for that job you dread going to when you wake up in the morning. Life is too short and important to settle for “it’s fine”.

And to wrap it up, a few short words from the kind of wise:
– Be afraid of your dreams
– Friendships/relationships are more important than anything else in your life
– Have hobbies
– Read a lot
– Journal
– Meet people anytime you go somewhere new
– Take naps
– Get dressed up when you have the chance
– Spend money on traveling
– Keep an open mind and listen more than you speak
– Daydream

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There’s hope for/the hopeless

August 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

The annual “I’m moving back to school-can’t get anything done-won’t have enough money-won’t have enough time” falling feel.
Fear not, for there is hope.

“For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal.
From six calamities he will rescue you;
in seven no harm will touch you”

– Job 5:18-19

“Do not be afraid […],
for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.”

– Jeremiah 1:8

 “But now, this is what the LORD says […]
‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'”

– Isaiah 43:1

Matthew 11:28-30

February 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Today – we’re getting personal.

I’m studying to be an athletic trainer – no not someone who trains athletes. We’re the people that fix the athletes that get hurt and then we get them back on the field. This semester I’m taking my first evaluation course – where we learn how to diagnose the injuries athlete’s get. Today was our first test; there’s a written portion and a practical portion. I did poorly on both. Today is not my day.

After finishing the written test I’m already feeling less confident than I was after the entire week of studying that occurred. I shake it off and get ready to kill on my practical test – because in practice, I was impeccable. I end up choosing one of the easiest injuries, get ahead of myself, forget to complete significant evaluations, but, thankfully, diagnose the injury correctly. I get a little scolding from my professor and she ends with a bit of encouragement – “You just need to build from here, you’re going to be fine.” I want nothing more than to be a great athletic trainer, and to screw up my very first evaluation exam was incredibly discouraging. Refusing to say anything, except “uh huh” “ok” “right”, because anything more than two syllables would release a cascade of tears, I sprint to the bus stop where I need to catch the bus to head to my last hour of work for the day. Holding back a complete emotional breakdown for an entire hour is certainly one of the most difficult things I’ve done. I don’t advise anything of the sort. I ran to my room after my shift ended and fell onto my bed – I haven’t cried that hard in the longest time.

I understand this single test does not define my reputation as an athletic trainer, I understand it’s one test and that it’s not the end of the world. This was simply the trigger to an entire week’s worth of pressure building up. For the first time in a very long time I felt the absolute desperation for the grace, love and comfort of Christ. Sobbing on my bed, I call out for Him to take the struggle from me, I can’t do it alone. I felt completely helpless trying to keep my life steady. It’s incredibly relieving when you know that at any moment in time you can call out to someone to rescue you from your misery and without any hesitation He will be there every time.

Matthew 11:28-30 says “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God is asking you to give him all of your troubles! How many people do you know actually ask that you give all of your issues to them – on a daily basis? (If you’ve seen 30 Rock, you know it doesn’t go well) I am consistently confounded by the faithfulness of God – always there for me, loves me no less each and every day. After crying out to Him at my absolute weakness He was there to rescue me and provide me with rest.

To those of you who will be in panic after reading about my emotional breakdown (yes, Mom, I’m referring to you) I can tell you I am doing fine – only by the grace and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father.

What do you want to do before you die?

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’d like to share with you something personal and very dear to my heart. After seeing the show “The Buried Life” premiere last year, I was overwhelmed with inspiration. Not long after seeing the first few episodes, I began constructing my own list. I am continuously adding to my list, for as I get older and change, the things that are important to me also change.

 

My moleskin – the documentation of crossing off the things I want to do before I die.

Inside – part of my list. each page is dedicated to a list item that I’ve crossed off, creatively displayed to embody the list item itself. Number 57: Smoke a cigar – I actually used the ash from the cigar to draw and write on the page.

I highly encourage you to start making a list. Think about the things you want to accomplish – dream as big and as small as you possibly you can. And once you have things written down – cross them off. Don’t just make an “I wish I could” list make an “I’m going to” list. Don’t become unmotivated because you don’t have the resources to accomplish it. Start now. Skydiving in June – I’ve been saving up since September. Drive cross country – my mom and I planning a post-grad trip as we speak. Think about what’s important to you, cross off list items with those that mean the most to you – it makes it that much more enjoyable.

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