8 Tips For The Recent High School Grad

 

So the time has come. In one to two weeks you will be crossing that stage. Your cap and gown on, your family happily cheering you on from the stands, as you take the diploma that will lead you out of adolescence and catapult you into semi-adulthood (Semi because we most often still depend on our parents, we just have a lot more freedom).

For some of you, that thought it is relieving. You’ve been waiting for this moment your whole life. Finally free to do whatever you want, without your parent’s permission.

No more being forced to spend 6 hours in a hell hole.

Others of you are mixed with a sense of nostalgia and fear. This place is comforting. You have your friends, you know where everything is, and your parents are there to provide for you and protect you all the time.

I’ve been there.

This time is scary, even for the one that is excited to jump in head first.

So today, if you are taking the college route. I would love to offer you some tips to keep in mind when entering this new stage in your life.

These are things that I would have loved for someone to have told me before I went to college, and I hope that you can benefit from them:

Tip #1:

 

figured
“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward”

 

It’s totally okay if you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life. The thing is, don’t waste the opportunity to figure out what that is.

Every college has required classes you have to take. These can include science, maths, fine arts, etc.

Take as many different ones as you can.

Submerge yourself in the classes you take and allow yourself to truly learn and understand. Not only might you find your passion there but you will become a well-rounded person.

Tip #2:

 

fear 2
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear”

 

Don’t be afraid to experience new things. No, I’m definitely not saying drugs, alcohol or any harmful things.

But try out different clubs, go to activities that seem interesting but are out of your comfort zone.

Let yourself be challenged, it leads to growth, and I promise you growth may be uncomfortable for a bit but it feels so good in the long run.

Tip #3:

 

fear
“Never let your fear decide your fate”

 

It’s so easy to hide. Don’t do it. Whether you are commuting or living on campus, it’s easy to go to class, and then go home, or go to class and go straight to your room.

Trust me you’ll regret it in the end if you don’t make an effort now to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

To the commuter, it’s hard, I’m not going to lie. I did it for so long, but I can truthfully promise you it’s worth it. If you can afford it, get a meal plan, eat on campus and socialize. Join a club or two. You might meet some really awesome people.

To the resident, it’s right there, right in front of you, don’t let it pass you by. Hang out in the lounge, go to on campus activities, talk to your floor mates. You might meet some really awesome people.

Tip #4:

 

beauty
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

Although I have encouraged you to be open to new things and to step out of your comfort zone, that doesn’t mean you should completely change who you are to fit in.

It’s one thing to be open to new experiences and another thing to let the pressure of what people will think or say about you cause you to change who you are.

Stay true to who you are. Yes, allow yourself to grow and mature. No, don’t change to be liked by others.

Tip #5:

 

workout
“Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it.”

 

Get fit. It’s so easy to eat whatever you want, you’ll have a meal plan and everything good and bad will be set right before you.

The choice is totally yours.

But, let me tell you the “Freshmen 15” are real. Yes, you will gain 15+ pounds if you choose to eat all the chicken and fries and chips you can (been there done that).

But I promise you, your body and your mind will thank you in the long run if you don’t

So, join the gym if you can or watch fitness videos on YouTube if you can’t. The benefits of getting fit so much more outway the temporary pain you feel trying to get there.

Tip #6:

 

falling
“Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually  be falling into place.”

 

Try not to lose sleep about lost friendships/relationships. I’m sorry to say this but it’s bound to happen (although I hope it doesn’t).

People change, you will too.

Yes, keep in touch, facebook message each other, text but understand that this stage is overwhelming. You will meet new people, try new things, be so wrapped up in a new world that you might not have time for your old one. Be aware of that, and don’t let it destroy you.

Tip #7:

 

parents
“Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.”

 

Especially for the college resident.

Keep in touch with your parents.

They will totally miss you. This is just as new for them as it is for you. So call them every once in a while. Maybe once or twice a week. Whether it’s just to fill them in or catch up or ask for advice. Call them. You will both benefit from it.

Tip #8:

 

you
“You got this.”

 

Again, for the college resident.

Yes, you will miss your parents, your friends, your pets,etc.

Don’t go home every weekend.

Especially not the first month of school. This is the time when it’s easiest to make friends with your roommate, with your dorm mates. So stay. Endure. And in the words of the late Whitney Houston, “You will survive!”

***

So dear friend, please do not fret.

Yes, this stage is scary right now, yes you will lose friends, change your mind about what you want to do probably like 10x a day, and find you really dislike some of your roommates. BUT it can actually be one of the best times of your life if you allow it to.

Step out of your comfort zone, and enter into this new stage with your head high, ready to have the best ride of your life.

Love you guys!

Xoxo,

Mara

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Lessons I’ve learned by 23

I’m turning 24 in less than a week, and like a lot of people, I have found myself analyzing this year of my life that is about to come to a close.

As some of you may already know, based on previous posts of mine, the last two to three years of my life have been crazy years for me.

A lot of things have happened, one that I will mention is the breakdown I had three years ago.

If you have ever heard of the term ‘quarter-life crisis’,  the equivalent of a mid-life crisis which occurs in young adults between the ages 18-25 (these years seem to vary between 18-30 according to different sources), I had that.

I woke up one day at 21 years old and felt so lost.

This feeling that I had wasted my life consumed me, and I didn’t know what to do. For the most part, it was fueled by the idea that I wasn’t where I thought I was supposed to be at that point in my life.

I had recently come to the realization that I was not content with my current major and I wanted to change it. That would mean adding extra years of schooling.

There was also the haunting thought that I had already been in school for so long and I was a loner. In the three years I had been in college, I hadn’t made any meaningful relationships. I would commute from home to school, from school to work, then work to home. Monday through Friday.

My mind went into overdrive and began to analyze how badly I had screwed up.

Amazingly, 23 has been a year of reflection and growth.

I reached a point in which I was fed up with feeling bad about myself and decided to take some actions to move towards the life that I really wanted. 

Now, I can’t say my life is perfect, but it is a work in process that I can truthfully say I am content with.

With that said here are some lessons that I have learned (mostly in my 23rd year) from being on earth 23 years:

Lesson #1:

okaynottobeokay
It’s okay not to be okay.
It’s okay not to be okay. I had this whole picture of what I thought I was supposed to be doing at this point in my life and let me just tell you, this was not at all what I had in mind. But that’s fine. Turns out, everyone has a different pace and life doesn’t always go the way we think it’s going to go. Honestly, though, every moment that led me here was weirdly beautiful, in some twisted poetic way.

Lesson #2:

thinking
Sometimes you need to lose yourself to find yourself.
Sometimes you need to lose yourself. Break free from old patterns, old friendships, old mindsets that are holding you back. You’ll be amazed to find all the things that you are capable of and maybe even realize you actually didn’t need some of the things you thought you couldn’t live without.

Lesson #3:

img_2112
He doesn’t matter. He’s moved on and so should you.
He doesn’t matter. Love yourself, and love yourself hard. Although he didn’t value you, there is someone out there looking for someone just like you. Focus on being the best you you can be and accept the person that will appreciate all you have to offer.

Lesson #4:

never too late
“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be”
It’s not too late. You can learn to play the piano, you can write poetry, you can become a photographer.You can do whatever you want. You can. You can. You can. Don’t let fear overpower you. It’s amazing the things you can overcome/accomplish when you step out, even in that fear.

Lesson #5:

 

love
“Live every moment, laugh every day, love beyond words”
Although you’re still young and it feels like you have a whole life ahead of you, we don’t know what tomorrow holds. So love yours hard and live every day as if it were your last.

Lesson #6:

comparison
“I am simply trying to be better than the person I was yesterday.”
Comparison can be lethal. It gets you nowhere fast. Just don’t. Learn to be satisfied with you.

***

Even though it’s been a crazy couple of years, I’m so grateful for that moment of reflection and clarity. Yes,  sometimes I still get in my head, and think about how things were “supposed to be”, but I am now focused on trying to shake those thoughts off when they come.

I don’t want to be stuck on what could have been, I want to be in the here and now.

In the here and now, I’m capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to, I’m pursuing things that I’m passionate about, and I’m surrounded by people that love me.

Today, I encourage you to reflect.

Reflect on all the wonderful things you want to accomplish and go for them.

It’s okay that things aren’t perfect, that you guys aren’t together anymore and that you’re not in the same position other people your age are at this point. Focus on you. Lose yourself in the things that you love or are interested in, give your all and see where it takes you.

Put aside all the doubts and things that are holding you back and move towards that person you are so capable of becoming.

Love you guys!

Xoxo,

Mara

 

To The One I Never Dated

I wrote this poem to express the feelings you experience when you’re young and want to believe that a certain guy could be the one for you. For me these feelings were a bit intense in that I was so obsessed with the idea of this guy that it took me years (yes you read that correctly…years) to realize that I should not obsess over someone that hasn’t taken any steps to tell me how they feel about me. I got so wrapped up in the emotions I felt when I was around him that I actually thought the day would come when he would finally confess his mutual feelings (I swore they were there). I’ve been dabbling with my thoughts about this point in my life and this is what I came up with:

***

Funny.

I used to think You were going to be my forever.

I swore that although you didn’t tell me you liked me all the signs were there

And so the time would eventually come.

I mean I couldn’t be drumming this all up in my mind? Could I?

The way you always found a way to sit next to me.

So close that our legs would touch

And I know you must have felt it.

The heat coursing through my body,

My hands trembling

As my thoughts insisted everyone could hear how loud my heart was pounding.

And even when it didn’t happen.

When by bitter but sweet luck you couldn’t sit next to me.

I would still feel it.

Your gaze

Piercing me from across the room,

I would look up at you.

You did not shy away.

Instead your eyes sparkled and you would flash me that beautiful smile

The one that instinctively released a zoo of butterflies from within.

These that I had stored for so long.

Afraid that no one would ever feel the same way,

So, I imprisoned them.

A life of confinement until the day someone might bravely set them free.

But I guess that wasn’t your intent.

Following through and solidifying everything that my heart was screaming was true.

Because the days passed.

On and on they passed and you never stepped up.

In fact you grew up and grew out

And rather than ever voicing the thoughts I vouched you had about me,

You voiced them about someone else.

How I still remember the day she came in.

Beautiful, calm.

Everything thing I thought that I was not.

You stared at her with those eyes I had deceived myself into believing only sparkled

Like that for me.

And the part I thought might have possibly destroyed it all,

When you turned to your right and whispered to my friend “Dude, she’s hot. Who is she?” 

Oh, how I would love to say that it all ended there.

That my once innocent admiration

Hadn’t turn into some sick obsession

Continuing to picture you with me

And the day that you would realize that it was I.

That I was still here even when she didn’t even care to give you but a second stare.

Yet like me

You persisted

Ending up nowhere.

But even though it took me a while,

I finally got here.

Realizing that this wouldn’t work

That I would never be enough to the one that couldn’t see my worth.

So I grew up, and I grew stronger.

Understanding that one day my beauty,

My personality,

My charm,

Would make someone else’s breath falter

And that even though you weren’t the one

And this will be but a distant memory from when I was young

One day I will walk towards an altar

And his eyes will glimmer for me.

His breath taken away,

His heart pounding,

When he takes me

In all my white glory.

Now, although this didn’t work

And you might never remember.

I hope one day you meet yours too

And she makes it all worth every single past failure.

***

It’s amazing how therapeutic writing your thoughts down can be. It really helps in putting things into perspective. I was young and naive, and to be honest it baffles me to think that I use to feel this way, but that’s totally okay. What is life without a couple of transforming lessons? I hope you guys liked this (keep in mind this was one of my first real attempts at poetry). As always love you guys. 

Xoxo,

Mara

 

When You Feel Like You’ve Lost Yourself

I don’t know about you guys but I go through days in which I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. Days in which I question what the point of life even is. Recently, basically the last couple of months, I’ve experienced these feelings more often than not. I have found myself panicking and feeling depressed. To be completely honest with you guys, a lot of factors could be playing into that. The fact that I haven’t been living at home for the first time, and not to mention I have been turning away from some things that used to be central to my daily life. Although I don’t think that these decisions I’ve made are wrong, life changes can take a big toll on you. You can get so caught up in missing what use to be and not focus on the present and enjoying life to the fullest.

I sat down one day, about a month ago, in the heat of one of these self-deprecating moments and just asked myself the questions:  what are things that make me feel like me? What are the things that make my world feel right? If I’m not happy with my current life I should reevaluate, focus on doing things that make me happy. I decided to grab my writing journal and list these things off.

After writing everything down, I realized that their role in my present life was minimal. I had stopped writing on this blog for a couple of weeks in March, I was barely talking to my friends, and God was a vague thought in the back of my mind. In the moment I decided that I needed to create a time and space to start doing these things again. So far it has been helpful and my mood has improved a lot. Here’s a list of some of the things that I wrote down:

  1. Writing; Posting to my blog and working on my stories. I want to write daily. Take some time at the end of the day or when I have down time but I this needs to happen every single day.
  2.  Praying in the morning. Doing my devotionals. My devotionals help me think of things to pray about. I need to make this a part of my morning routine.
  3. Listening to worship music. I can do this during my devotional time.
  4. Having a girls day with my best friends. My birthday is coming up soon I should definitely plan something out.
  5. Traveling. Having my New York weekend with my day 1. Summer.
  6. Dancing. Listening to music full blast. Daily dance breaks are a must.

Sometimes when we’re going through things it’s very easy to shut ourselves in, and lock everything and everyone out. We become so wrapped up in our minds that that we forget about the things that make us happy. I do this way too often. I hope that after reading this, no matter where you are right now and what you are going through you can take some time to remember the things that make life worth living. You are amazing, you are capable, you are loved, and this world needs you. I love you guys.

Xoxo,

Mara

Things To Fall In Love With

thelegendaryalex1. Fall In Love With Learning Fall in love with exploring new ideas, constructing new thoughts, piecing together a new framework for how the world around you works and what you can do with that knowledge. Go back to school, take a course you’ve always wanted to take or finally pick up that book that…

via 24 Ways To Fall In Love With The World Around You (When You Need A Break From Romantic Love) — Thought Catalog