6 Things I Learned About Life This Semester

With nine days left until the fall semester comes to an end, I’d definitely like to acknowledge these past few months for being very eye-opening for me. I love my life, and I wouldn’t want to imagine it any other way. I don’t want to sound like a tacky character straight out of a 90210-esque teen soap opera, but I really did learn a lot about myself and my surroundings this semester.

1. Trust your gut. If something feels wrong or someone rubs you the wrong way, chances are, you should rely on your instincts. Fun fact: apparently the Hebrew word for gut translates to God, meaning that if someone or something gives you a bad feeling, there’s a reason; it’s a message from a higher authority! (Thanks to my roommate for sharing this one with me.) Look out for yourself and pay attention to that tingling in your tummy.

2. Take a risk every now and then. Don’t be afraid to try something new or take a chance on something that you don’t think you’re worthy of. If you’re so discouraged by failure, you never even give yourself the possibility of getting what you want. I’ve tried my hand at a few things I was too timid to do in the past, and I’ve got to say, I’ve been pretty pleased with the outcomes. I had an article published on Thought Catalog and I nabbed an internship that I didn’t think I was deserving of. Rejection isn’t a given, nor is it a definition of who you are or what you’re capable of.

3. The guy you have casual sex with isn’t going to want to date you. Or even want to spend time with you. I guess I can blame myself for breaking my own heart on this one. Our hookup culture is separate from our dating culture nowadays, and sex isn’t that important if you aren’t in a relationship. This time around, I ended up having feelings for the guy I was hooking up with last semester, even though we had agreed not to be exclusive. He’d proposition me and then not answer my texts for two weeks (boys, amirite?), and when we finally did get around to hanging out, it was a slap in the face to me when he pulled the “it’s not you, it’s me” card. So you won’t always be able to isolate your feelings from sex, but if you don’t have both and a sense of commitment, it’s not meant to be.

4. Spend more time exploring the city you go to college in. I’m #blessed that I go to school in New York and that Manhattan is easily accessible for a day-trip from where I am in the Bronx. Some of the best days I’ve had this semester have been spent walking around an art museum or going to see a Broadway play with a friend. As much as I love a booze-filled bitchin’ night out on the town, sometimes it’s better to get to know your city.

5. Go to bed earlier. I’m not sure if this is because I had mono over the summer, but during the school week, it’s important to get a good, full night of rest before classes the next morning. Some nights, you can’t help it if you conk out before eleven while reading a book in bed, but other nights, you might feel guilty if you hit the sack early. Finish homework by a reasonable hour, take an earlier shower, and wake up feeling refreshed and clean in the morning without the splitting headache of staying up until three-thirty in the morning.

6. Study hard, and take nothing for granted. College is hard no matter where you go. It’s gratifying to work hard and see that time and energy pay off in some good grades. Make sure you study something you love, (I had a mishap with that, and I know how miserable and discouraging it can be when your major isn’t what you expected it to be.) and most importantly, be proud of your accomplishments.

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