5 Things I Learned (and 5 Things I'm Definitely Unlearning) from 2015

Since the year is coming to a close and I don't believe in New Year Resolutions anymore (I tried last year. I really did.), I've decided that thinking back on the past year of my life and reflecting on what made me successful, and what yielded less appreciative results, would be a much healthier way of growing as a person. Spoiler alert: a lot of this article will be based on my experiences at Syracuse University. (Don't say I didn't warn you.) 

2015 Taught Me to...

  1. Appreciate the things in life which we take for granted- be it your parents kissing you good night, good, edible meals (sorry, Graham Dining Hall), hugging your dog until he squeaks, having ample space to shower (the struggle is real), having the amazing opportunity to go to a great university, etc., etc.
  2. Be kind- It's hard to always be nice to people, but you will never regret showing compassion and being caring.
  3. Value friendships, but not to feed off them- The stress of senior year in high school as well as moving thousands of miles away has taught me to appreciate the few friends I still maintain ties with back home, and the few friends I talk to almost everyday from SU. The funny thing about friends is that they can help and hurt you so it's important to understand that they are individuals with their own lives, and you should never rely on them solely for happiness.
  4. Be versatile- In a span of exactly 24 hours, I was thrust from one corner of the globe to the other, with barely enough time to recollect my wits and understand exactly what I had done. Going to university in a country so far away from home has taught me to be flexible, adaptive, and broad-minded to new cultures, perspectives, and life styles.
  5. Respect myself- The key to happiness isn't doing well in school, having great friends, or a beautiful house. You can only be as happy as you want to be- it comes from inside you. Thus, if you don't love the person you are, how can you ever hope to love your life?

Things don't always happen according to plan, and 2015 was definitely no exception. So:

2015 Taught Me to STOP...

  1. Wasting time- There is a finite number of minutes each of us has to change, but an infinite number of memories we can all create. So why waste time doing things that don't make us happy or help us to grow?
  2. Living in the past- Time waits for no one, so no one can wait for time. The past is independent of the future, and no matter how hard you try, you can't change what has happened already. Instead, look towards the future with anticipation and readiness.
  3. Avoiding the gym- After my exams and before going to university, I stopped all forms of physical exercise, and this had a great effect on my health. I definitely know now that I should never avoid the gym for too long, if at all.
  4. Doubting myself- This year, particularly during my time at SU taught me that I'm just one in millions of people, and I'm not super special in any way. However, that doesn't, by any means, mean I can't achieve. I can achieve because I have what it takes to be successful; the only obstacle in my way is self-doubt.
  5. Worrying- Worrying is probably secondary to human nature- we just do it so often without even thinking about it. It's perhaps the reason why our life expectancy is what it is today. With worrying comes stress, and with stress comes a deterioration in overall happiness. Next time I catch myself worrying, I'll assure myself that it's not a big deal, and that every mistake can be fixed in some way.

So there you have it- my 2015 in summary. Come at me, 2016!