Yes, I am only a sophomore in college and I still have a lot to learn, but there are some very valuable things I have learned in my short lifetime.  Throughout my life, I have lived in this little bubble where I thought everything was just perfect and people were always nice and nothing bad ever happened.  When I got to college and started having to live and learn on my own, I quickly realized this wasn’t the case.  I have taught myself quite a few things that help me get by.

1. Learn Everything the Hard Way 

This one takes time, and is hard to comprehend at first, but I have learned through heartbreak, lots of mistakes, and falling down and having to get back up again lots of times.  If you don’t learn the hard way, things are bound to happen more than once.  Reflecting on all of the things that I have experienced in my life, the ones I learned the most from are experiences that absolutely crushed me.  These things are supposed to happen and over time we get over them and move on, but to fully learn from something, it has to be done the hard way.

2. Don’t Trust Everyone

Ever since I can remember, I have just trusted anyone who is nice to me and will listen.  The world does not work this way, and there are mean people that will tell your secrets or who just don’t have your best interest.  It is very hard to find people who are worth trusting, but when you do, those are the people you know you want to be around.

3. Surround Yourself only with People who make you the best version of yourself you can possibly be

I have realized slowly over time, that good friends are hard to come by but when you find them, they will make you want to be better.  I have made some of my best friends in college, and whenever I am having a mental breakdown they are always one phone call or text away.  Those are the people you want to be around– people who you can tell everything to with no judgement and who can give you good input on hard decisions you have to make.  Surround yourself with people who will be honest with you and who truly care about you.

4. It’s Okay to Lose People

If you are not benefitting from a friendship or relationship, it is okay to be done with that relationship.  If you care more than the other person or they are not putting positivity into your life, then it is probably time to let them go.  Letting go is one of my biggest struggles, because I have a very hard time cutting people out of my life.  God puts people into our lives for a reason, and takes them out for a reason as well.  Losing people is a part of life, whether it be death or just not having someone to talk to every day anymore, it happens.  We have to learn to deal with it and be okay.

5. Love Yourself before Loving anyone else

You can never truly love someone until you can learn to love and respect yourself.  Loving God and loving myself are the two most important things to me right now.  Before I can find out how to commit fully to these things without letting other things get in my way, I can never fully love someone else.

6. Being Alone is a good thing

Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting to be with other people and we get so busy worrying about school and a social life that we forget to just take a step back and breathe.  Having just 15 minutes of alone time every day is the best way to reflect and think about the day ahead of you or just relax.  It does a world of good for me to listen to music and be alone for a while.

7. Jesus will Always be there for you

Lots of people will walk out of your life and never come back, but Jesus will always be there.  Lately I have realized that God works in mysterious ways and I am starting to think more about how lucky I am.  God has truly blessed me with so many things and I have been blind to them for so long.  I get so wrapped up in school and my friends and other things that I never really give myself time to just thank Him.  Don’t forget to be thankful, and if you ever get really stressed out and anxious, remember that Jesus will always be there.

Philippians 4:6

8. Staying in on Friday night instead of going out sometimes is perfectly acceptable

I know for me, college is a mixture of both complete stress as well as absolute fun.  The weekends are what we live for, and we have so much anticipation for how wonderful the weekend is going to be.  Tonight, instead of going out I came home and spent time with my family.  It felt really good and although I missed out on a lot of things at school, I am happy that I came home.  I can hang out with my friends any time I want to at school, and I miss opportunities to be with people who really love me when I am at school.

9. Call your Mom

Even though you may not realize it now, your mom is the best person to talk to about anything.  My mom is the person I go to if I ever need advice about anything.  Yes, I am pretty lucky to have a best friend in my mom, but calling your mom from time to time can turn anyone’s day around.  I know mine always makes me feel so much better just by talking to her.

10. Yes, listening to Taylor Swift does make everything better

Taylor Swift is an angel sent from Heaven to create beautiful music that helps girls around the world.  I am convinced of this, and she has helped me through so many things.  Her music inspires me, and I think if anyone is going to be your role model, it should be her.  Also, Blank Space jam sessions are what I live for.

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people.  Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”

-Taylor Swift

So those are just a few things I think are important to know about life as a college student (at least from my perspective).  I have a lot ahead of me and much learning left to do, but I think I am off to a pretty good start.