Author: Samantha Thuesen
I’ve been alive for nearly twenty years, and within that time span, I’ve had my fair share of life lessons, but there’s only a few I find to be priceless. Keeping these five lessons in mind throughout the past two years specifically, I’ve created closer friendships, become more confident, and learned to laugh every day.
The best thing you can do is understand. Viewing a situation from someone else’s perspective is crucial. We often lock ourselves in our own minds, becoming oblivious to the emotions of others. Accepting that our opinions are fallible will not only humble ourselves but also allow us to connect with others on a deeper level. When I’m fighting with a friend, it’s hard to not want to be the victim, but once I put myself outside of the situation, I can see my faults. We must remember that everyone feels something for a reason. When confronting people with issues, don’t use accusatory language. For instance, rather than saying “You don’t care about our friendship” say “I feel like we aren’t as close as we used to be.” Issues can be resolved in a civil manner if both parties remember to understand.
Friends don’t always stick around forever. It’s not as depressing as it sounds because it’s not always a bad thing. People come into your life to give you things: morals, values, and even new characteristics. You also do the same for them. Sometimes those people will stay because you continue to benefit each other for the rest of your lives. Other times those people leave because you’ve given each other all you can give; you help each other grow, and then you grow apart. Even though they leave, you carry what they gave you for the rest of your life, whether it’s something good or bad. Personally, I have friends who are no longer in my life, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.
Worrying only holds you back. Whether it be about a career or life in general, it’s not uncommon to think of “what ifs.” Having said that, I’ve learned that regret feels a lot worse than worry. The only way to succeed is to take risks because the best things in life come out of uncertainty. I’m an introvert, so I find it difficult to put myself out there, but there’s something I often do when making important decisions. I imagine myself in the future, about ten years ahead, and I ask my future self what I wish I would have done in the past. Do what will make you happy in the long run, even if it makes you uncomfortable for a moment. It’s just a moment.
Don’t find a comfort zone. In order for us to grow, we need to make ourselves uncomfortable. After starting my sophomore year of college, I decided to sign up for a few more clubs to become more involved on campus. One of my weaknesses is speaking on the phone, so I became a DJ for the radio club. I had a weekly one-hour radio show, where I had to speak into a microphone and be entertaining while doing it. It took some time, and some embarrassing periods of silence, but I got used to it. Compared to my freshman year, I had a lot less free time. However, I felt good about it; I felt like I was growing as a person. Push your own envelope, because you can only benefit yourself.
Look for humor in every situation. The world would crumble without laughter. It’s universal. It’s powerful. A smile can change someone’s mood instantly, and it doesn’t matter who the smile belongs to. It’s so important to find reasons to laugh because ultimately, we all want to be happy. When friends are crying, comfort them, give them advice, then make them smile with a light-hearted joke. When you’re fighting with loved ones, confront the issue, resolve it, then tackle them with a hug that brings you both to the ground laughing. When mourning the loss of friends or family, share the memories of them that make you cry happy tears, because they wouldn’t want to be remembered for anything else. We’re all here to make each other happy, so whatever you do in life, make sure somebody’s smiling.