This post was inspired by a video posted by FreshFitNHealthy on Facebook recently. She spoke about what she learned throughout her school years and I thought it was an interesting idea for a blog post and, well, it transformed a bit into how I have changed over the years in addition to some important lessons. I think that I grew quite a lot, as many do, in my first undergraduate at McMaster. I decided to get all personal with you all and hopefully some of the things I learned and found out about myself can relate to your life too.
School is not life.
This one was a big thing for me. My first year in McMaster, there are so many regrets I have for not spending as much time as I could have with my roommates and friends because I was in my room doing work and studying. I thought this was what I needed to do to get the grades I pressured myself to get. Your high school councillor puts this idea in your head that you will drop 15% and I was panicked so I became, what I like to call, a hermit most of the time.
I can’t say that those things that I missed out on were all due to this, as my poor confidence and shyness probably came into that issue as well to a degree, but it definitely played a big role.
Being a student is only one part of your life. You are YOU first and when you look back at your years in school, do you want to only remember being at your desk 24/7?
One bad grade is not the end of your life.
This is a tough pill to swallow. I still struggle with this one. I have set standards for myself and I can honestly say that they never stop getting higher. I’m a perfectionist. I want the best. It used to be that when I saw a 70 and I was disappointed. Now I see an 80 to an 85 and get that same feeling of…
“What did I do wrong?”
Soon, if I’m not careful, I will get that feeling when 90’s are not attained 100% of the time. This is not realistic. This is added stress that I don’t need. I’m working on it.
I have been there were I have broken down over a grade. It was my first chemistry midterm of my University career and I got a 45 or something like that. Yeah, chem and me are not close…I have never failed anything in my school life and you know what?
I broke down and I broke down hard. I called my Mom and just balled my eyes out saying how I was going to fail chemistry then I would never be able to get into graduate school and so forth. You know what I ended up with at the end of the year?
…a 7 (which at McMaster is between a 75-79%).
I was still unhappy with it because it’s not an honours grade, but I didn’t fail. I didn’t fail the course. I didn’t fail at life. This is a lesson that is rationally understood but still hard to actually believe sometimes. The fact of the matter is that one bad grade will not ruin your life.
Another work in progress. I’m a naturally anxious person when things go differently then I expect. I also get really antsy around test situations and big events. I’m proud to say that over the years of school I have learned to accept that when writin a test, I will be as ready as I will ever be walking into that room so being nervous about it won’t help me. With that, instead of anxiously studying up until I literally get my book taken from me in the exam room, I now stop at least an hour before I write a test to wind down so I can walk into the exam in a calm state.
If you’re overly stressed, your brain won’t work. Been there done that.
BTW does anyone else really hate it when everyone is going over things with their friends outside the examination room? I purposely blast my music half of the time because I don’t want to hear them as I just feel like it will mess with me.
Having a social life is necessary.
During my year off school when I was working my two jobs, my friends started to take a back seat to work and me just being busy. At the time, my boyfriend and I had been living in our own apartment for a year by then and it was that year that I begin to get that ugly feeling of being incredibly lonely. Yes, I had him but I found out very quickly that I cannot go day-to-day doing the same thing over and over again. With work I was super social. Customer service was a huge part of my job. Then, when I came home, my boyfriend was often there but I still felt an incredible sense of emptiness. I then began to get mad at myself for not trying harder to find time to see my friends more because I was really pushing myself into a dark hole. It wasn’t really until last summer where I pushed myself to go out more that I really began to get my groove back. My happiness. Now that I’m back in school, I’m determined never to let that happen again.
It’s okay to think about yourself first.
I love seeing others happy. When I was younger, I cared more about putting others first then I did about myself and my needs. You may think this is a good thing, when in fact, if you forget about yourself, you will simply lose yourself. You will get walked all over and be forever unable to search for your own passions, make goals and reach them because you are too busy trying to give to everyone else.
It’s not selfish to want the best for yourself. To put yourself in your own lil bubble from time to time while you work towards your goals. Everyone does it. Everyone needs to do it because it’s how you pave your own way and be truly happy in your life.
Your lifelong plans can change. Some things cannot be planned out, written in stone and stuck to 100%. Try telling this to any Type A personality and see what happens. When I finally made the decision to stop my application process to clinical psych and take the year off, I was stressed to the max. Do you know how many times I asked my parents if I was doing the right thing? The guilt of my not sticking to my ‘plan’ was actually was eating me up no joke.
It’s hard to deal with uncertainty, but its something we all have to face because life happens. You change. Your wants, thoughts and beliefs then change and so plans will never be perfectly planned.
I learned that I can be loved.
For the first time I knew what it felt like to be loved (other than my family). I had some of the most amazing moments in this relationship and I met someone I could call my person.
With that I also learned that no matter how much love you have for someone…
Sometimes you have to let them go.
Love is definitely blind. My 5 year relationship was definitely a growth period for me. We had amazing times but as we moved into our final year, my perception of our future began to change. The truth is, opposites don’t last over the long-term. My love for him truly blurred any rational understanding for that statement. I knew we were very different and although there were some big things that may have set lil alarm bells off in my mind at the time, I just simply overlooked them.
It was one of the most drawn out and hardest things I had to accept. My best friend, the person who gave me so much, could not be “my person” for life.
The love is still there. The friendship is still there. For that I’m thankful, but I think we have both come to terms that a relationship is not the place for us. We are better as friends.
Well that was one reflective post. Got me feelin all kinds of fuzzies. Warm thoughts? Not sure, but a good release.
Thank you for listening to me and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Let me know if you can relate to anything I mentioned here.
What would be one thing you learned about yourself during your post high school years?