My 20th birthday is this upcoming Saturday (basically tomorrow). Something cool about have a mid-year birthday is the fact that I get to reflect on an entire school year, and do a mid-calendar-year check-in. So before I lose my teenage bragging rights and enter into "twentysomethingness" here's my reflection on age 19.
disclaimer: I typically try to write neutrally. Anytime I say "you" it''s referring to something I've learned and the "you" is actually me.
1. Sophomore Switch Up. So I've heard that it is actually pretty common to get a whole new friend group sophomore year. Whether or not that is true, it happened to me. Don't get my wrong, my old friends are great and I still talk to them, BUT my new friends have more in common with me. It is so easy to fall into a group of friends your freshman year of college, at least it was for me. As time went on, I learned that I didn't have much in common with my friends and often felt like the odd one out in my group.
2. Breaking out of my comfort zone. Honestly, I was comfortable with those friends, until one day I realized that I didn't really hang out with them and life was lonely. I decided to get outside of my comfort zones and meet new people. Since my old friend group was full of science majors, I realized that I didn't know that many business majors. If you know me, you know that I'm super leery of new people. So getting out of my comfort zone took a lot. It has been super worth it!
3. Common Interests. So you know how it's super important to have common interests with your friends? I heard that a lot in the past, but never really took it seriously. I'm a super friendly person (kinda contradicts my leery of new people thing - but whatever) so in high school I would pretty much talk to whoever sat near me in class. The coolest thing about my new friends is that I get the best of both worlds. We are in all of the same classes AND like the same type of stuff.
4. Pretty sure my biggest accomplishment has been becoming the oldest in my friends group. Having a summer birthday has always meant that I am the youngest person (in class, at work, among friends, always). The only times I've been older than my friends have been when the other people are a grade younger than me (and sometimes then they are still older than me).
5. Friends teach you things. I am always learning (see "I am a nerd statement" in bio). If you do not learn anything new from your relationships, what benefit is it to you? One of my friends is Canadian and so I always learn Canadianisms (it's probably a made up word so don't Google it) from her. Another one of my friends has been key to me embracing my inner #GirlBoss.
6. Don't let people get in your head. If you've heard of the Eller College of Management, you've probably heard how brutal the first semester taking upper division courses can be. Error #1 is letting those horror stories get to you. Don't change who you are as a student based on what other people say (unless you're making necessary improvements). At the beginning of this semester, I was super stressed because all of my peers said it would be terrible. It wasn't that bad. Looking back at it, if I would've done this semester how I do everything else, it would have been much easier.
7. Interpersonal skills are just as important as your GPA. Say it with me "Interpersonal skills are just as important as your GPA." Learning this key concept is extremely important. Nobody likes to talk to the tech-person that won't look them in the eye, or the doctor that stands 50 feet away. It's important to like the people you work with and be liked by them. A recruiter told me that my GPA landed me the interview but my interpersonal skills landed me the job (story for another post). With that being said, don't completely ignore your GPA, but don't forget to become well-rounded in other areas.
8. Mind over matter. If you made it this far, the work is not impossible. It may seem hard, but you are smart enough to get it done. I'll be completely honest with you, I wanted to quit college this semester. At the beginning of the semester, we had 4 exams, a presentation, and a career fair (side note: I work part-time). It was February and I hadn't landed a "real" internship in my opinion, I ended up failing a test, getting a D, and a C. The stress of it all got to me. Once I realized that it wasn't the end of the world, I kicked in back into gear and made the grades I knew I could earn.
9. Regret happens because of fear. If you've stopped by my "About Me" page, you know that I want to start my own gym. At the beginning of the semester (after the crazy hectic week), I begin feeling regret of choosing Finance as my major. I'm too far in to change my major and still graduate within four years. I was terrified of failing school and letting my parents down that I thought I made the wrong major choice.
Regret happens because of fear.
10. Choose a flexible major. I love being a finance major now! This summer, I have an internship with a Big 4 Accounting firm. Being a finance major, there are many options upon graduation: grad school, CFA, some really cool job, start a business, really whatever I want. Finance is not for everyone, but there are majors that open doors for you (economics, communications, engineer programs, and so many more). Basically, unless you know you will either A) love your job for the next 40 years or B) plan on spending additional time in school, choose a major that will give you a variety of experience and opportunities.
11. Get to know your advisor. Usually advisors have so many connections. Mine helps me prep for interviews, gives me a confidence boost, and brings be back to reality here and there. Advisors are important because they know they don't have all the answers but they will find them for you.
12. I finally learned how to study (and be successful at it). Cramming doesn't work for me, test anxiety makes me forget what I crammed. This year, I've learned to start studying earlier and to study both alone and with friends.
13. Relationships change. My mom and I have gotten super close this year (don't tell high-school me this). I've also grown distant from certain relatives and closer with others. That is life, and I have learned that it applies to family too.
14. Lower your expectations. I've heard that I set unrealistically high expectations (my bad logic: I expect of others what I expect of myself). Lowering expectations make people more feel more comfortable around you.
15. You can choose your family. I've decided that I definitely do not believe that you cannot choose your family. You can't choose your blood relatives, but you can choose your family. My family consists of blood relatives, long-time friends, family friends, a few staff members from my high school, really all sorts of people that I know will always have my back, and have proven it.
16. Never forget the character-defining situations. You are you, because of what you've been through (sorry for rhyming I also write poetry). Never forget the people who were around during those times. In fact, I've learned to appreciate and celebrate them because without them, who know how strong of a person you'd be.
17. Stress deteriorates your mind and body. Don't believe me? See my post about Gastritis. I'm slowly learning how to manage my stress. Honestly, nobody told me how hard moving out is. You now have to worry about bills, health, school, and work. It can be a lot, especially if you are not close to home.
18. Respect your body. Everything from the food you eat to the length of your workout effects your body. Learn how to take care of your body because it's different for every person. That's why we have allergies, sensitivities, favorites, cravings, etc. Listen to your body's wants and needs because it will tell you. With my whole heart, I recommend a healthy diet, enough exercise, healthy school and work loads.
19. Rest. Rest. Rest. This year, I've learned how to step back and give myself a break (even when FOMO starts to kill me). The body needs rest in order to relieve the stress it has been under. If it's been a long week, I take a nap so that way my body can catch up to my brain.
Tell me in the comments one thing you have learned so far this year or your favorite color!
That's it for now! Thank you for sticking around. If you can relate to any of this, I would love to talk to you on social media. My links are below!