It’s hard to believe that this is the last story I’ll write for the Collegian this semester. No worries – I’m planning to return in the spring.
As we prepare to enter the abyss that is finals week, I want to look back on eight things I’ve learned in 2018. I asked on Twitter last week what one thing that made you a better person physically, mentally or spiritually in 2018 – here are my answers.
1. Reaching out to those you haven’t spoken to in a while can be a good thing.
A speaker at an event that I went to who happened to be a retired school administrator, encouraged those of us attending his session to reach out to someone we hadn’t spoken to in a year. I promise, even if it’s the most nerve-racking thing you do sometime soon, you have a chance to grow your relationship with that person. I know personally that the person I reached out to had been through a lot since we last had a real conversation, more than just ‘Hi, how are you’, but knowing that the person was receptive to helping with an English project was possibly one of the best moments of my first semester.
2. Stand tall and show that you know what you are doing.
I had an instructor who appeared to doubt my abilities this semester. This week I had my chance to show him that I really do know what I’m doing. It could be as simple as dressing professionally for a presentation. The comments on the rubric I received back made feeling incredibly stiff worth it.
3. Celebrate those around you and enjoy their presence.
You never know when you will lose someone who means the world to you. The more time you spend with them, the more you have to remember them by.
4. Be proud of your faith, if you choose to have one.
Before I dive into this, I am in no way telling you how to believe – just that you should be proud of what you believe in. If you have a faith, take pride in having those beliefs and traditions. Some choose to not have a faith, and that is their choice. Having pride does not mean that you should hate someone else for what they believe in, just that you shouldn’t have to fear what others will think about your faith.
5. Find your friends and hold them close.
There’s a saying that “you find out who your friends are,” and I find it to be entirely true. Find people who are have the same interests and are going to complement your personality. Some of my closest friends are a year or two younger than me in age and grade, but they have personalities that work so well with mine that they have become some of my closest friends. My best friend is almost the exact opposite of me- short, redhead, different tastes in music and clothing but we get along super well.
6. I love writing in a journalistic style.
Although I do love a good research paper, it’s refreshing to write informally every so often, or once a week. Because of this, I decided to take up writing my own blog. We’ll see how long that lasts but how bad could it really go?
7. Passion and working to a higher standard may mean that you aren’t understood.
I was blessed with some amazing opportunities in high school, but often I find that people don’t realize that I have experience in being professional and working on projects, like a professional. Although my club advisors might be a tad frustrated that I struggled to get my projects in on time. Tad might be an understatement, but I’ll take an understatement to an overstatement. My apologies to them, but I think – I hope – I’ve learned my lesson by now.
8. The power of saying “Thank You”
Never underestimate the power of not only keeping in touch with those teachers you connected with during high school, but also thanking them. They often leave work without a ‘proper’ thank you. If they truly impacted, you TELL THEM. You won’t regret it. It may also be a worth while occasion to take screenshots of their reaction (if they email you).
Hopefully, something in this list made an impact on you as a reader today. If you want to share something you learned in 2018 feel free to join the conversation by tagging me on Twitter! Have a great Winter Break, I’ll see you back here sometime in 2019! Until next semester friends.
Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying Business.