1. Health always comes first - Yes, I said it. Your health comes before anything else in this world, whether it be physical or mental health. When it comes down to it, you aren’t going remember that party you went to even though you were feeling down. All you are going to remember from that party is how horrible you felt the entire time. Sometimes you just have to learn to say no.
  2. 4 quarters are better than 100 pennies - It is a stereotypical and overused saying, but there is nothing truer. I’ve had a lot of “friends” over the years, but it my worst moments it has always been clear just how many of them were actually true friends that had my back through whatever. It’s perfectly fine to cut people out of your life that aren’t good for you.
  3. Know your worth - Like I said previously, it’s perfectly fine to cut people out of your life that aren’t good for you. I cannot stress that enough. Whether or not you want to believe it, you are whoever you surround yourself with, and if you’re hanging around with negative and pessimistic people, that will eventually rub off. Surround yourself with people that allow you to grow and become the best version of yourself.
  4. Interpersonal relationships are the most important - Plain and simple, the relationship you have with yourself is more important than any other relationship in your life.
  5. Comfort zones are poisonous - I spent so many years chained to my comfort zone because I was terrified to branch out and try to be something new. I was comfortable with where I was at and it hindered my personal development. I never truly started living when I decided to unlock my own chains and open myself up to new experiences.
  6. Friends from high school - High school is an awkward time for everybody, even the jocks and cheerleaders. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying straight to your face. We had to bond with people that were dealing with similar issues so that we didn’t feel completely alone. Here’s the thing though, the odds that you’ll remain best friends with those people are extremely slim. There comes a time when you realize you were only friends with most of them because you were forced into a building with them for eight hours a day, five days a week for four years. I still talk to a couple of people every now and again, but college is where I’ve truly found my lifelong friends.
  7. Sometimes it’s OK to be a little selfish - Self-care comes first. Just don’t take it too far and become the person everyone hates.
  8. You cannot please everyone - I know you want to try, but it is only a waste of your own time and energy on people that don’t deserve it.
  9. Corrupt motivations do not lead to selflessness - I may or may not have watched too much of The Good Place. Kristen Bell is the absolute best, am I right? Regardless, the lesson still has the same impact. Doing something nice for someone else because you’re expecting to get something out of it doesn’t make it a good deed. Try thinking about someone else for once.
  10. 100% of people that worry too much about the success statistics of others are more likely to fail - Thank you for the enlightenment, This is Us.
  11. Give the janitor the same respect you would give the CEO - I’m not saying exactly that the janior could one day be your boss, though stranger things have happened. What I’m saying is treat everyone as equals. Someone having a higher paying job than someone else does not make them better than someone else. Everyone deserves to be given respect and treated with dignity.
  12. Failure is a learning experience - We learn from failure, not from success.
  13. Perfection is not a realistic goal - The sooner you learn this, the happier you will be in life.
  14. Go after what you want - Many of us are taught that things will happen in their own time and that what is meant to be will be. Don’t believe that for a second. People do not find success by sitting around and waiting for it. They go out and get it. Finish that novel you’ve been working on, apply for that job, plan that wedding.
  15. Wisdom comes from life experience, not age - The title pretty much says it all.
  16. Mom really does know best - We will probably never actually admit it, but generally our moms know best. They have lived and have experienced so many things, and as we already know, wisdom comes from experience. So, next time your mom tries to give you advice, try not to be so hard headed and maybe listen a little better.
  17. Make a fool of yourself - Some of the best moments with good friends have come from us totally humiliating ourselves. It’s fun and your learn to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously.
  18. The things that mattered to you 5 years ago probably won’t matter now - 5 years ago I was 17 and all I wanted was to fit in just enough to be invisible. I didn’t want to be bothered by anyone else. At 22, I have my health, my family, my friends and the best relationship I could have ever asked for. That’s really all I need these days.
  19. Asking for help is fine - I wish I would have learned this lesson sooner.
  20. Not having everything figured out yet is fine - I’m 22 and I still don’t have everything figured out. I know people in their late 20s that still don’t have stuff lined up. Someone else’s timeline may not work for you, and that is perfectly fine. Go at your own pace and everything will be fine.
  21. Learn self-confidence - I’m not saying you have to be strong and confident all of the time. Some days you may have to fake it, but exuding confidence will pay off in the long run. Just fake it till you make it.
  22. Mental illness is not a death sentence - Some days may require more effort than others. You can still live a perfectly happy and healthy life with some maintenance. Be patient with yourself.

ALEX BLADES is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at cablade@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexBlades__

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