Lessons from the Past few years

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Now that I’m out of college and in the “real world,” it’s nice to be able to look back and reflect on the time that I’d been away from my hometown and how I’ve grown as well as who I’ve become since I left. When I started college in New York City, I was this mild-mannered girl from a small beach town in New Jersey. I had no idea how subways worked and no clue how to cook something more challenging than mac and cheese. Not to mention, I had never really been submerged in an area with such a diversity of people. I surrounded myself with a big group of friends and found myself growing up, changing into a more independent woman, and figuring out who I was, as well as what the world was like. Here are a few lessons I learned in the past few years:

  1. You will lose some friends. And it’s ok. I remember being really bummed about losing some of my high school friends. I had a handful of girls I considered my best friends in high school that kind of disappeared once we all found ourselves spread out across the country for college. The same happened when I graduated college. But don’t fret; the ones that want to remain friends with you will make it happen. You’ll get texts about visiting and regular phone calls. It’s a two-way street though so be sure to reach out to them, too.
  2. It’s smart to get out of your bubble. It’s easy to keep doing the same things as always. Humans like ritual. But forcing yourself to go on that ski trip or go to that party where you only know one person might actually end up being the best thing for you.
  3. If you find yourself trying to change for a boy, get out of the situation. Girl (or boy), trust me, I’ve been there. I remember dating a boy who never made me feel 100% comfortable being myself. I always tried to be more amicable and easygoing than I really felt and this led to me erupting one day and ending things on bad terms. Needless to say, it took him by surprise.
  4. Don’t be fake. If someone does something to upset you, whether it’s a boss or friend, find a mature and appropriate way to let them know. You should always be honest with how you feel and stand up for yourself when necessary. Even if you lose a friendship, it probably wasn’t a real friendship, to begin with.
  5. Force yourself to be alone sometimes. I flew alone to London to study abroad, and it was the first time I truly remember feeling scared then morphing that fear into an independence that I’ve never lost. I make myself eat alone at restaurants and shop alone in my spare time. I have learned to find comfort in just being by myself.

I guest wrote this blog post for lifestyleinspire. You can check out my blog post here!

29 Comments

  1. Great post!! As I got older I found it strange how we lose touch with friendships, but I realise it’s the true friends that we hold on to and that’s even better. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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      1. I’m not sure why only one line of my comment posted haha. Here was the rest: AWESOME job on the guest post! That’s so exciting!!! I relate to a lot of these… living in a big city on my own changed me. Studying abroad alone changed me. Losing friends changed me. It’s all a part of the growing process. And YES don’t change for a boy… love that advice ❤

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    1. Haha just saw the rest! So sweet!! I know what you mean and it’s good to change if you’re growing and able to see that as a positive!! Also I think you can relate that studying abroad changes someone so much… in a good way!

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  2. These are all things that I wish that I had known in my early 20s after I got out of college! This is a really great post thank you for sharing and I will be sharing it as well 🙂

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  3. Such a great list. I wrote a similar post in my “perspective” category of things learned through college. I studied abroad in Italy too and it was the best experience of my life, I hope you had a great time in London!

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  4. Great post! It’s so tough to lose friends and it can be so so hard to walk away from a relationship, but think of them less as losses and more as opportunities to grow into the best version of you. I broke up with my high school/college boyfriend my freshman year because I knew I was working too hard to change myself and I didn’t give myself space to grow. And then there were plenty of times I got used to being independent – studying abroad in Italy, living alone during the summers, and having weird work/school/extra-curricular schedule so I was always eating by myself with a book in a deli shop. Totally worth it though. Being an adult is tough, but these are all great tips for managing adulthood 🙂

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    1. Aw thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I really agree with all of this! Sometimes you have to break yourself off from people who aren’t allowing you to grow and you find yourself becoming better for it. Independence is a great thing!

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  5. Our lessons definitely make us who we are. I love how relatable this post is! I always find people talk about friends from school loosing contact but not friends from uni. But mine is quite the reverse! Aside from a few so it’s nice to know others go through the same thing!

    Charlotte
    http://www.monnolife.com

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  6. I love these!! It’s so true about friends after high school I grew apart from all but one but we are closer then ever and I am positive that we will be lifelong best friends.

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  7. As someone on the other side and I know most of these lessons, I now have to try to handle other people who haven’t. My sister in law is completely fake and in turn has lost a lot of relationships and wonders why no one wants to be around her but she won’t accept it is her being that way. I try to tell her but you have to learn sometimes to really understand.

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    1. Agreed! I also find that with certain people (even those who are extremely close to me) you can’t tell them how to change or what they’re doing wrong. They have to learn on their own.

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  8. This isn’t so relatable on so many different levels! Congrats on your guest post that’s awesome!! I totally lost some friends, gained some new ones, totally act who I am and I will not change for anyone, I found the love of my life, we each love our alone time but we are totally each other’s best friend and I am so thankful for that! So so so much to learn in life and that’s all I want to do, learn something new every freaking day!

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