What I Learned In 2017

We did it y'all, we made it to the New Years Eve. 365 days ago we were looking back at 2016 anticipating all that 2017 had in store for us. Yeah, a lot of crap happened this year. Let's not dive into it. Both globally, communally, and personally, we can all say that these past 365 days probably had some downs to them. Let's face it though -- we had great days this year. We met interesting people, accomplished exciting things, made great memories, and achieved goals we set for ourselves almost an entire revolution-around-the sun ago #GoUs!

Whether I had positive or negative experiences this year, I can happily say that twenty seventeen was a year of life lessons, personal growth, and personal gain! What's the point of making mistakes if we don't grow from them, right?

A lot happened this past year. Although 2016 was full of life changes, 2017 brought change to the way I think, change of how I perceive people, change to how I go about thinking, and change to what I rank important. All and all, I think that 2017 helped me come to the understanding who I am as an individual and how to live my life as I please.

If You Want To, Say No -- Ah, yes. I never will be able to understand why I thought "no" was some evil word. This year had me saying no to all kinds to things. Did I want to go out that Friday in October? No. So, I didn't. Did I want to buy that sorority t shirt that they "highly encouraged us buy"? Heck no. So, I didn't. This list goes on and on. How nice it was to say no to things I didn't want to do or didn't care about was awesome. In 2018, if you haven't discovered the empowering feeling of the word no, try it out. It's awesome.

Be the First to Speak -- Being "that girl" can sometimes be really terrifying. Be the first to speak in class, be the first to introduce yourself, be the first to sign up for that club, be the first to get the ball rolling. This year, I learned by being the first to speak, you can meet so many people and come across incredible opportunities. Keep in mind, speaking includes e-mail, text, or call. Yes, be the first to call your mom, don't wait for her to call you. Be the first to bring up a raise at work, your boss won't bring it up. And be the first to reach out to that company for a collaboration or stranger for coffee. Seriously, then you do this, doors open up to you.

Budget, Budget, Budget -- An important lesson to learn, but not the most thrilling. 2017 taught me how to adult, and that's an entire other post on its own but I don't have time for that today! I learned this year that when you have a lot of money in your wallet, even though you see every beautiful thing on display at J. Crew and Nordstrom, you should not spend your money unless you will die without something. Budget for groceries, budget for utilities, budget for Uber's -- literally everything. Just know that as you grow into your adulthood and slowly, come into more responsibility you will need more and more money. Seriously, just save. Do it.

Girls are Still Crazy. -- If you're a girl, you have said the words "girls are crazy". Yeah, I know you're probably denying it but yeah girls are crazy, even you my friend. Girls do weird things, say unkind words, make rash decisions, and there's literally nothing you can do about them. This yeah, I had some people who I thought were trustworthy, longterm friends walk out of my life within the first five days of sophomore year. I never knew why and truthfully I don't really care to know, all I can chalk it up to is that girls sometimes are a little crazy. It was nice to go back and remind myself that sometimes girls get a little out of wack. This reminder is sometimes necessary incase you yourself needs a little reality check. Every now and then this past year, I had to tell myself "Luce, you're being crazy".

A Few Great Friends are Better than 100 Acquaintances -- The power of friendship was revealed to me these last 5 months and wow, is it a good thing to know. I have a four or five really great friends. Friends you can tell anything to and know they will always be there for you. These are the friends that will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Stick close by these friends. They are the important ones, the good ones, the ones who feel like family. Everyone else isn't as important as your true friends.

If You Have a Dream, Go After It -- I have a lot of goals and career dreams. I've talked about it dozens of times on here, but in the back of my mind I have wanted to turn the blog into a full time job. Yes, I want to enter the corporate world but who knows, there could come a time when I want to work from home and blog full time -- plenty of people do it. I took the leap of faith and changed my major, giving up a lot in the process. Seriously, best decision I ever made. I know I found the right major and career path because in one of the hardest classes for communications, I ended up doing very well and loved going to class. Long story short, if you have a dream or a goal you want to reach, go after it. You can do it. At the end of the day, everything takes hard work if you want to succeed, but you need to determine whether or not you are willing to work that hard.

Kindness Goes So Far -- We all say it. Kindness goes a long way. You love it when someone holds the door for you when you have an arm full of groceries. You love it when someone smiles at you when they see you're stressed. You love it when your mom or dad calls you just to check in. Give that kindness back. I have found that free, relatively small acts of kindness go so far. Some of the ways I have started to spread kindness is write thank you notes, even for the smallest things. I also started calling all of my friends when it's their birthday, rather than texting them. Also calling them and congratulating them over the phone, instead of in text, when something important happens is another way to spend kindness. Just take that extra minute of your day to brighten someone else's. It's worth it, and hey a little extra good karma never hurt anyone.

Stop and Pray. It Makes Everything Better. -- I started praying more this past year. Stopping, closing my eyes, folding my hands, and praying. Talking to God in the car, in the shower, cleaning my room -- anytime and anywhere I need Him, I am continually amazed how the power of prayer changes anything. Just this semester I have come to God in tears, as a ball of stress, beaming with joy, and ridden with fear and each and every time I come to Him, I am soothed to my core by the power His mercy, love, and compassion for me. He has vouched for me, saved me, given me a second chance, and blessed me a thousand times over. In 2018, I want to continually pray more and more and I implore you to do so as well. You have everything to benefit from the humbling power of prayer.

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