Just like the ball that dropped on New Years, I dropped the ball on getting the second half of my New Year’s post done by NYE. Fortunately, I had a wonderful New Year’s filled with dancing and being with my friends from home, and now while I procrastinate the other 50 things I should be doing, here are the other five things I learned this year:
6.) Self-explanatory, but the best way to feel like you don’t need makeup is to stop wearing makeup! After struggling with acne for years and not feeling like I could go anywhere without a full face of makeup, I decided 2018 was the year I would try to ditch it. I wanted to feel confident enough to roll out of bed and go to class with a fresh face or to take off my makeup when I was traveling or around others overnight. I decided to only wear makeup on special occasions, and although I still struggle with breakouts, they are much smaller and infrequent, and my skin feels happier and healthier. There is no better feeling than rubbing your eyes when you’re tired and realizing that you don’t need to worry about messing up your eyeshadow. Even better, this experience gave me the confidence to go out into the world and feel good about myself without makeup, acne or not, and embrace my natural skin at school, the beach, etc. Towards the end of the year, I also started feeling ok about taking and posting makeup-free pictures as well, which doesn’t seem like much, but if you have ever struggled with acne or other problems that make you feel dependent on makeup you know that’s a big step! I hope to continue improving my skin this year, and am shifting my focus to how improving my eating can help me do this!
7.) Find a group of people with similar values, lifestyles and interests as you! I have always valued friendships with people that are different from me, and I enjoy making as many friends and acquaintances as possible, because the more the merrier! I still definitely subscribe to this way of thinking, and some of my best friendships are with people I’ve known forever that are on completely different paths than I am. That being said, it is also great to have a circle of people in your life that are in similar places to you and have perspectives that compliment yours. This past semester, this came to me as a group of empowered, uplifting girls that evolved from a weekly lunch, to a group chat, to endless trips exploring Boston, checking out bars, and movie nights! Out of the six of us, 5 of us are RAs, a few of us have been in the same clubs, and we all value service and exploring Boston. Most importantly, we all had the same desire for a support network of girls in similar places goals-wise and emotionally to cheer each other on and make a bunch of the stereotypical early-20s memories with (think Sex and the City). It’s amazing finding people that understand you and whose views and priorities resonate with your own, and these women are one of the best gifts this past year gave me, and I know what a rare treasure they are!
8.) Don’t internet search any of your problems – not just your physical ones. We all know at this point that looking anything up on Web MD is a horrible idea – they can convince you your common cold is cancer in seconds. What I learned this year, though, is that looking up emotional and relationship problems online leads you to similar results. Just like looking up a scab will lead you to believe that you have a rare skin disease, looking up issues you have with people or using Google to nit-pick your relationship will also often lead you to results that blow things out of proportion. I thought that this was something only I was guilty of, but after talking to friends I realized many other people found themselves falling into these rabbit holes. Similar to Twitter, although the internet can be a great resource for knowing red flags and what to do in bad situations, it can also be quick to label normal experiences and disagreements “toxic”, so remember to rely more on a combination of what your heart, loved ones and professionals like counselors are telling you before referencing what random people are saying on the internet.
9.) In any situation, focus on what you can control: your reaction. I found myself saying this to my friends and residents a lot this past year, which is ironic because I’m the literal worst at following this advice. Although in hindsight I have faced a lot of circumstances where people I have really cared about have hurt me and that wasn’t cool, I made 50% of them infinitely worse by handling them like a passive-aggressive asshole. I tried to hold on to people who were being removed from my life for a reason (although I was much better about not doing this this past year compared to 2016 and 2017), I pick fights, and I constantly ruminate on the past and failed relationships, which hurts the relationships I still have with others because at times its all I focus on. As the parentheses in the last sentence mentioned, I did do much better with avoiding these habits this year compared to the previous years, but I do still find myself throwing fits when things don’t go my way, having trouble accepting and adapting to change, pushing others away and still sometimes regressing to a passive aggressive instigator when I’m around people that have caused me pain even if it was years ago (although there are some people from my past I’ve gotten along with much better this year). What I learned I need to prioritize in the future is focusing on what I can control and recognizing when I have to let go or leave things up to faith instead of pushing people to see things my way or act the way I want them to. Along with this, I learned that while communication is important, its best just to calmly tell someone how you feel and then leave it open to them to either react and be helpful or not really care and pull away, instead of my classic habit of having 100 dramatic confrontations with people a week that they eventually grow desensitized to and miss the point of. I’m hoping practice makes perfect and I improve on this in the months to come.
10.) I’ll leave everyone with something short and light because I can be a little long-winded: my top Netflix watch and movie of last year! The best show on Netflix I watched was Grace and Frankie, which tells the story of two elderly women who have to overcome their differences and pick up the pieces after their closeted husbands leave them for each other. It’s funny, bittersweet and every episode keeps you on your toes. The movie I recommend, a no-brainer, is Bohemian Rhapsody, which follows the life of Freddie Mercury and the band Queen. I would hope all of you have seen it by now because it was a cinematic masterpiece, but if not GO SEE IT!!!!
Well, if you made it this far congratulations and I hope all of you New Years resolutions come true!