How To Be Positive Without Feeling Fake

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The “fake it ’til you make it” technique when it comes to positivity is total BS. Plastering on a smile when your lips want to naturally curve downward. Posting an overly uplifting quote on Facebook when you don’t fully believe it. Telling yourself that everything is great, when in reality, everything is falling apart.

All of these things are only temporary solutions to long-term issues. You’re not going to become a genuinely happy and upbeat person if you do these things. You’re going to feel like a fraud.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to become positive. There are many things you can do to transform yourself and your thoughts without feeling fake. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create realistic goals. Have a list of both short-term and long-term goals that you know are achievable. Make sure your goals are things that will help you grow as a person. Personalize your goals as much as possible to assure that you’re not copying general goals that people have. Having things to work towards will help you build up your mental strength and it will change your whole perspective on life. Additionally, once you reach a goal, the feeling of euphoria is a feeling that no fake smile can obtain.
  2. Have full awareness of your problems. Many people believe that ignoring a problem will make it go away, or it will make it seem like the problem just isn’t there. Ignorance is not bliss at all. If you are constantly lying to yourself and claiming that nothing is wrong, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Sit down and take a moment to identify anything on your mind that is bothering you. You can either write everything down on paper or just sit there and think. Sorting out everything that is wrong will help you to add to your list of goals and it will help you figure out productive solutions.
  3. Remove negative people from your life. If a friend is having a negative impact on you because of his/her attitude, you should reconsider having that person in your life. It’s pointless to have a person in your life who just provides drama and stress, rather than comfort and happiness. It can be difficult to cut a friend out of your life, but in this case, you need to put yourself first. You need to truly think about the negativity this person is bringing to your life and how much it’s affecting you. In the end, it’s not worth it to stay friends with someone for his/her sake. Only keep those in your life who lift you up.
  4. Engage in “feel good” activities. You have to figure out exactly what activities make you feel happy. Exercising can naturally make everyone feel happier because of those awesome endorphins. Engaging in your favorite hobby is important because doing what you love will give instant gratification. It’s also fun to explore new hobbies and activities in order to maintain personal growth. Search the Internet for a new, unique hobby that looks interesting to you. You can even find something new to do with a significant other or a friend. It can feel great to be doing things you want to do outside of things that you have to do. Live your life the way you want to and you’ll be a lot happier.
  5. Accept failure. It’s easy to feel down after something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to. While it’s perfectly OK to let yourself feel sad about it, don’t let that feeling last forever. You have to realize that no one is perfect, and that things will not always work out. Sometimes you’re going to fail at a goal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously we all crave success over failure; however, if we never accept failure, we will never accept ourselves. The good thing about failure is that it will force you to work harder. It will make you want to change the way you do things because you don’t want to see failure again. Once you are able to accept failure, you’ll be able to have more faith in yourself to keep persevering.
  6. Allow yourself to feel every emotion freely. If you’re only forcing yourself to feel happy, all of your other emotions are going to be trapped inside you. If you never let those other emotions out, you’re going to feel even worse. It’s OK to feel negative emotions. If human beings were only capable of feeling happiness, we’d be really boring and stagnant creatures. Just imagine you’re watching a movie and the characters were always smiling and nothing ever seemed wrong. Do you know how lame that would be? Allow yourself to fully embrace every emotion that you feel, even if you aren’t used to it. If you are able to adapt to expressing all of your emotions, it’ll help you become a stronger person in the end.
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Source: http://happyproject.in/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/pablo-q2a-1.jpg

The TwentySomething Chronicles: Finding Yourself

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Many people have the notion that you have to find yourself by the time you reach your twenties. This isn’t a realistic approach to life. You can spend your childhood thinking about your dream career, and you can spend your teen years gaining experience for the future, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to figure everything out by your twentieth birthday.

Your twenties is actually the best period of time in your life to find out who you really are and who you want to be. Whether you’re a college student, college graduate, or are going in a different route, you’re at a very important age in life. You’re on the verge of adulthood and anything is possible.

There aren’t set rules or steps to take in order to find yourself, but here are some basic guidelines:

1. Find out what is important to you.

If you care about a certain topic or organization, go ahead and do something about it. Find volunteer opportunities or research various ways to help a cause that is close to your heart. If you’re doing something worthwhile, you’ll find your calling in the midst of everything. It’s just a matter of putting yourself out there and figuring out your interests.

2. Use your hobbies to your advantage.

Delve deeper into your favorite hobby or take a new one for a spin. Hell, take on multiple hobbies at once. Actively involving yourself in your passions will spark a huge flame in your life. You will feel more satisfied with life if you are constantly doing things you love to do. Additionally, you might even find a new path you want to go down.

3. Cherish meaningful relationships.

You’re at an age where you’re finally finding true friendships and relationships. This is very crucial to your soul searching. If you have people in your life who truly care about you, this support system will back you up whenever you find yourself falling. These are peers who are working on finding themselves as well, so you won’t feel alone in the matter.

4. Don’t feel rushed. 

You don’t need to follow the standard “rules” of life. You don’t need to find your ultimate career in your twenties and get married before your thirties. Make your own rules and set your own standards. You have to understand that it’s perfectly okay if you’re not doing exactly what you want to do yet. You’re younger than you think you are.

5. Be open-minded.

Always be up to try new things in life, whether they work out or not. You learned at an early age that if you don’t try something, you’ll never know if you like it. This lesson will always be true, no matter what your age is. If you go for anything and everything, you’ll not only gain experiences, but you also might find something new that you like.

 

Another thing you should realize is that a part of finding yourself is creating yourself. You create yourself through both your positive and negative experiences, through your successes and your mistakes, and through your happiest times and your darkest times.

When you’re in your twenties, you can’t let personal or societal pressures get to you. You have to use the power of your own mind and your own heart in order to be you.

The process of finding yourself can be quite terrifying. But, as the cliché people say: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Let’s face it, your twenties would be boring as hell if you already had everything you want in life. So enjoy the ride and endure the crashes along the way; it’ll be worth it eventually.

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There’s Always Room For Improvement

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Imagine yourself climbing up a mountain: wind gently tousling your hair, using every muscle in your body to lift yourself up, sweating along the way. Suddenly, you stumble, due to wrong footing or feelings of weakness. But if you fall, you’re able to redeem yourself by clinging on to a lower area of the mountain. You continue your climb, but the reality of it all is that you will never reach the top of the mountain.

This is not meant to sound pessimistic, but rather, it’s a metaphoric visualization of realism. We have all heard of the typical saying, “life is like a rollercoaster, it has it’s ups and downs…” blah blah blah. While this statement is a true cliche, it’s never incorrect.

We all have bad days. We all have times where we feel down or make some kind of mistake. But this doesn’t mean that we are done for, or that there is no hope for us. It simply means that in order to get back on your feet, you have to push yourself and believe in yourself. You can overcome anything and everything as long as you try to do so.

Once you overcome your biggest struggles, you may feel as if you are a stronger person than you have ever been in your entire life. These feelings of euphoria are amazing, and should never be questioned, but you have to realize that you are not done growing. I’m not talking about physical growth necessarily, but mental and emotional growth. The human species, in itself, has evolved over time, and as individuals, it is our personal duty to evolve in our own unique ways. You shouldn’t be seeking out every flaw that you want to change about yourself, but you should take every single day as a challenge and a way to learn more about yourself.

Going back to the lovely mountain metaphor, the reason why you will never reach the top is because you will probably keep stumbling along the way, or even if you do keep climbing without interruptions, the mountain will keep getting taller. This is because you have new goals to reach, and nothing worth reaching is easy to get to. Climbing makes you stronger but there is always more strength to be found.

You won’t reach the top of the mountain, but that doesn’t mean you should think that you never will. Yes, I know, this statement is very contradictory. But it simply means that if you keep a positive attitude in life and if you always focus on being a better version of yourself, you can find your own hack on this thing we call life.

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Say No To Normality: A Poem

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Deviation

Why stay in a solid confining bottle,

When there’s more breathing room on the outside?

Why try to blend into the colors of the world,

When you can brand your own shade of charisma?

Why keep your precious thoughts out of the light,

When you can unleash a storm of empowering insight?

Why not contrast against the rest,

When conformity brings you to your knees?

Why not be a creative innovation,

When everyone else is a replication?

Why not just be you,

When there is no one else to be?

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Expectations vs. Realities: The Life Of A Twenty-Something

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Life in your twenties is filled with a variety of emotions and experiences due to the fact that this is when adulthood truly comes into play. But the thing is, we don’t actually know how to be an adult until we do adult things. But the other thing is, we tend to go into our twenties with certain expectations, yet we come to realize that reality doesn’t quite match up to our expectations:

Career:

Expectation: Getting your dream job off the bat and being super happy about it.

Reality: Realizing that searching for a job is like trying to find your way out of a corn maze; you confidently walk in, then get excited when you turn a corner and see an opening, then you come to find that there’s actually more corn in your path, so you’re stuck. (Yeah, I know, it’s a great visual representation)

How to deal with the reality: It’s tough, but you have to keep trying. You can’t give up that soon because who wants to be stranded in the middle of a corn maze? Keep on keeping on and things will fall into place eventually. You might have to start with a job you don’t like, but by enduring a bad job, you’ll be able to build up your skills for your dream job.

Social Life:

Expectation: You feel like you’re still young enough to party whenever you want just like you did in college.

Reality: It’s somewhat socially unacceptable for a twenty-something to party as much as a college student, plus your alcohol tolerance is slowly but surely getting lower.

How to deal with the reality: This doesn’t mean that you can’t party at all, you just need to tone it down a bit and act more mature. You’ll also come to find that there are so many other fun things you can do with your friends that don’t involve getting wasted every weekend. Go be an adult socialite!

Health:

Expectation: You’re an adult now, so no one can tell you what not to eat.

Reality: You realize how important your health is and you realize that you should probably do something about it.

How to deal with the reality: It’s honestly not that hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat more fruits and vegetables and workout more. It doesn’t have to be this huge burden that takes over your life; just slowly incorporate healthiness into your life and it will soon stick with you. Go be a healthy adult!

Relationships:

Expectation: Since you’re in your twenties, you automatically need to find the person that you’re going to marry; time is running out!

Reality: It’s still okay to casually date people in your twenties.

How to deal with the reality: Don’t worry so much about finding the person you’re going to marry! It’s perfectly okay to go out on dates with people in order to figure out what type of person you want in your life. You’re still young, whether you believe it or not, which means you have plenty of time to find your husband/wife. If you happen to find that person in your twenties, more power to you! But it’s okay if you don’t!

Friendships:

Expectation: You’ll continue being friends with everyone you met in college and it’ll be great!

Reality: You will not be able to maintain every single friendship that you have made in college/in life in general.

How to deal with the reality: You have to realize that each friend you make won’t be a friend for life. You will have some amazing and special people who will definitely be in your life forever, but that can’t always be everyone. People get busy and move on with their lives, because that’s what happens when you get older. Appreciate the friends that have stuck with you and be open to new friendships, because you can definitely make new friends no matter how old you are!

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An Interpretation Of One Republic’s “I Lived”

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“I Lived” not only consists of a catchy beat and beautiful vocals, but it also has incredible lyrics that are stated simply, yet contain a lot of meaning. This song can speak to anyone of any age, because it reflects the importance of going through the hardships in life, and growing stronger as a person. Here are my interpretations of a majority of the lines in the song:

“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall”

You shouldn’t be afraid to take chances/risks in life; you should just go for it.

“Hope when the water rises, you built a wall”

When life gets hard, you should be able to find a way to protect yourself and get through it.

“Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name”

Do something that will make a difference in the world and that you’ll be admired for.

“Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay”

Never follow the crowd no matter what; always do your own thing.

“Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad”

Experience heartbreak at least once in life because it will help you grow stronger in order to prepare for a better love.

“The only way you can know is give it all you have”

Always try your hardest in any given situation.

“And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain”

Don’t let your hardships bring you down completely, but accept the obstacles that come your way.

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“I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”

I lived life to the fullest, and even though I had to deal with difficult times in life, I still survived and made it through. I had to go through these hard times in order to live.

“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up”

Make the most out of each day so you can look back and see how much you have done.

“And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup”

At the end of each day, be grateful for what you have accomplished and celebrate everything you have done. Also celebrate life, itself, because it’s worth acknowledging.

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Dating Is A Game Of Chance

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Think of your life as a metaphorical game board. Each day, you roll the dice to see what impending situation will occur. You never know what will happen because it’s impossible to predict anything that happens in your life. You might have to conquer some obstacles some days, and other days you might get to lay back and relax with a nice alcoholic beverage of choice (assuming you are of age). Just like games, you never know your outcome of a situation until you get there and see what happens.

Narrowing life down even more, dating is a game in itself. Now, we typically don’t like to “play games”, in the immature sense, when it comes to dating, but the dating process is comparable to a game. Think about slot machines for a second. Yes, I know, your mind automatically jumps to Vegas and now you’re thinking all kinds of things, but just bear with me for a second. Slot machines are pure luck and chance, you don’t really have much control over what turns up on the machine. The same thing goes with dating. Dating is a game of chance because you never know who you’re going to meet and you never know what is going to happen. For instance, you can meet someone and think that it might turn into something, but then you realize they’re a dud after the first date. Or, you can be in a relationship with someone and think that they’re the one, and it might not even work out in the end.

These situations aren’t meant to be seen as anything negative, but rather, they should give you realizations about how life works. You can’t just give up after a bad relationship, and you can’t just swear off dating after one bad date. You have to get back in the game, and fight for your chance to win, because who doesn’t like winning games? Dating isn’t as simple as black and white because each person you encounter is going to be different from the last one and the next one. But this is what makes dating exciting! New experiences and new people can teach you many lessons about the dating world as a whole.

So, as you roll your dice for the day, don’t wish for anything to happen, don’t try to predict what will happen, just let things play out as they are meant to. Don’t waste your time worrying about all the bad dates or relationships you’ve been through. Just push all that aside, and see what pops up next on your metaphorical dating slot machine. You’ll be a winner someday. (If all else fails, move to Vegas).

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15 Ways To Improve Your Mood

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We all have bad days and good days, but it’s important to always work on improving your mood because you deserve to be happy!  There are many small and easy things you can do in order to feel better, but here are some ideas:

1. Write about your feelings.

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Whether you’re a writer or not, it always helps to let everything out that you’ve been building up inside. If you put all your thoughts down on paper, not only will you feel relieved, but it will also be easier for you to solve your problems.

2. Exercise.

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Even though lying on the couch sounds better than exercise, releasing those endorphins can be very fulfilling! Even just going for an easy walk can make you feel really great; it doesn’t have to be anything extensive!

3. Listen to your favorite music.

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Even though you might be tempted to listen to sad music when you’re in a negative mood, doing so will only keep you in that mood. If you listen to your favorite upbeat music and sing along, you’ll start feeling better before you know it!

4. Get organized.

Create a Writing Schedule

If you’re in a bad mood because you have a lot on your plate, take a moment to breathe and make a list or schedule of everything you have to do. If you organize everything by when you’re going to get things done, it will be easier for you to accomplish everything.

5. Do some cleaning.

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No one really likes cleaning, but if you’re in a clean environment, you’ll automatically be able to feel a lot better about life. Even if it’s just picking up some things off your floor, you’ll feel great about the improvement you have just made.

6. Get some fresh air.

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Being cooped up inside when you’re in a bad mood makes it hard to improve. Go sit outside, or even just crack open your window. Breathing in the outside air will make your brain feel less “blah” and more at ease.

7. Hang out with friends.

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If you go out and do something fun, or even just sit and chat with friends, chances are you’ll start feeling a lot better right away. Whether it’s talking to your friends about why you’re in a bad mood, or just distracting yourself, it’s a lot better than sitting by yourself.

8. Watch some funny videos.

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YouTube can be your best friend if none of your friends are available to make you laugh. Watch some of your old favorite funny videos, or look up new, random ones. Laughing is good for the soul!

9. Watch your favorite movie.

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If you have some more time, watch a movie that you have always loved and always makes you smile or laugh. Or even watch your favorite TV show! Entertainment is beautiful thing.

10. Dance in your room.

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This is where that saying “dance like no one is watching” comes in. Blast a catchy tune and dance your heart out because why not? You’ll not only have a chance to laugh at yourself, but you’ll also have so much fun.

11. Think about something exciting.

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Find at least one thing that you are looking forward to and focus on that. It’ll make your day a lot better knowing that better things are coming to you very soon.

12. Play with puppies.

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If you don’t have your own dog, go to a pet store or shelter and go play with or pet some dogs! Dogs instantly put people in a good mood because they are just so cute and friendly! If you’re not a dog person, choose another animal to go play with!

13. Volunteer.

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If you have some extra time, go find a volunteer opportunity. Making other people happy will give you a lot of great feelings. Essentially, helping others become happy will make you happy as well.

14. Finish a project you’ve been putting off.

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It always feels great to finish something, so if you’ve been procrastinating on a hobby or project, go finish it! Even if you’re busy, try to make some time to get it done.

15. Just smile. 

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This one may sound silly, but smiling alone can change your mood, even in the slightest way. Try to smile throughout the day, and smile at others as well, because you never know who else is also having a bad day!

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The Truth About Feminism

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Feminism has become a controversial topic mainly because of the false definitions that people give it. A lot of people out there truly believe that feminism involves hatred against men, yet this is completely untrue. I think a lot people are believing this because there are people out there who claim to be feminists and they also claim to hate men, which ultimately puts out a bad name for feminism as a whole. Misandrists are “men haters”, while feminists are equality lovers.

Feminism is not about hating men, or hating anyone for that matter. It simply stands for gender equality. While many might argue that feminism is more of fighting for women’s rights, which is partially true, it also just fights for equal rights for both women and men.

Our country has evolved through the years, but there are still many issues with gender inequality. A huge one is unequal pay. In most companies, women only get paid 78% of what men get paid, even if they are doing the exact same job. This wage gap not only makes no sense, but it’s also completely unfair. Why should a woman be paid less than a man if she is doing the same amount of work as him, and is just as equally educated? Equal pay isn’t really an outlandish request, it’s more so requesting something just.

Another aspect of gender inequality in the workforce is superiority. These days, we do see more women becoming CEO’s and managers, but there still seems to be a larger amount of men in higher positions. This could either be due to the fact that men are more likely to be hired, or it could be due to the fact that women are afraid to apply for higher positions. Either way, it’s a noticeable factor. Women and men should both be able to equally receive high positions if they both have the same qualifications and skills.

There are many internet trolls out there who created the term “meninism” as an opposing force to feminism. Meninism mocks feminism in many ways, and jokes around about men needing more rights. This new term was created by people who don’t understand the true meaning of feminism, as mentioned earlier. “Meninists” think that feminists believe in women having more power than men, which is, again, far from the truth.

To understand this topic better, use the term “gender equality” instead of “feminism”. Although, it doesn’t necessarily matter what term you use, because the general concept is what is really important. Why should one gender be superior over another? Who even decided that in the first place? We are all just people, and we should all be treated equally and respectfully.

10 Things You Learn In College Outside The Classroom

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College is first seen as a time of studying hard and working towards a career. While this is accurate, the overall college experience gives people the opportunity to learn more than just what they read in textbooks. College students learn all these extra little things without even realizing it. Here are some of the things that they learn:

1. How to find true friends. This lesson usually doesn’t come right off the bat because when you’re starting out as a freshman, everyone is new and everyone wants to hang out. But over the years, you come to find who is truly your friend and who is not. College allows you to differentiate between a true friend and a fake friend, which is something that develops with time.

2. How to have a stable relationship. College relationships are way more serious than they are in high school. If you go through some crappy relationships during college, you are able to learn what you can do differently in future relationships in order to make them more stable. If you have secured yourself in a serious relationship in college, you learn how to maintain it, and throughout the relationship, you learn how to make it better. College is a time for maturing, and understanding how to resolve conflict with others.

3. How to have fun. Even though you have to be serious when it comes to classwork, college is a time for going out and doing fun things. You learn that it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a break once in awhile, because having fun is a crucial part of life.

4. How to take care of yourself. This refers to many different aspects of taking care of yourself, from learning how to essentially live on your own, to eating well and exercising. Usually freshman year, you don’t care much about eating healthy and getting enough sleep, but over the years you realize how important these things are.

5. How to be responsible. Responsibility is a huge part of college because not only are you responsible for getting your homework done in time, but you also have outside responsibilities that come along with your independence. As more responsibilities get thrown on you throughout the years, you learn how to be a more organized individual.

6. How to work with others. You’ve been taught at a young age how to work with others, but it really sinks in during college. This is mainly because you get stuck doing group projects and working with people who you might not get along with. Being put in situations like these allow you to become more mature, and learn how to work with people who are different from you.

7. How to try new things. College is a time where new opportunities fly at you from every angle. Being in a new place on your own allows you to branch out a bit more than you’re used to. This is a good thing because it opens you up to new interests and new things that you might have never even tried before.

8. How to ask for help. During your college years, you come to realize that it’s perfectly okay to ask for help when you’re lost or confused. This can range from getting help on schoolwork to getting help with personal problems. This is something you learn because you’re maturing and realizing that getting help isn’t a bad thing, it’s only another thing that contributes to your growth.

9. How to be involved. Colleges have so many different organizations that you’re bound to have found at least one that you belong to. This involvement gives you some experiences that you might not have had without college. It also helps you meet new people who are interested in similar things to you, and sometimes these people can become your life-long friends.

10. How to find yourself. Essentially, college is the time in your life where you find out what you want to do in your future. With that, comes finding yourself. During college, you’ll sometimes lose yourself during your journey, and you might not have even completely found yourself by the time you graduate. But this doesn’t mean that you will never find yourself. You can take everything you’ve learned in college and apply it to your life, while continuing on your journey after graduation.

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