I don’t have many regrets since coming to Radford. But there are a few things that I would have done differently if I had the chance to go back and do them again. As a senior days away from graduation, here’s some things I’ve learned that have made me a much happier person.
Be real with people. Life is far too short to be fake around people. Tell people how you feel. Let them know if you’re happy or upset. Say “I love you” to people if you mean it. Learn to recognize your worth. Be vulnerable around those you trust and know that you’re human and it’s ok to have feelings and emotions.
Learn to love and accept yourself, and learn to be ok with being by yourself. A lot of learning to love yourself and being alright with who you are comes from doing what makes you happy, even if you’re doing it alone. I love to sing and listen to music so I sing (even though I’m no good at it) and listen to music a lot, and it makes me happy. If you like something about yourself, but someone else’s doesn’t, that’s their problem. Not yours. Learn to love all of you, even your flaws.
Don’t be afraid of failure or disappointment. For a while, I would avoid doing a lot of things because I was afraid of failing and being disappointed. Even something like asking someone what time it was if I didn’t know, because I felt like I had failed at knowing something simple. But I learned that life is full of disappointment and failure teaches you 10 times more than success ever does. No one likes to be disappointed and the feeling sucks, but you’ll be able to accomplish much more when you’re willing to risk disappointment to get what you want. And sometimes the risk will pay off.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. One thing I’ve learned is that people are a lot nicer than others give them credit for. Most people like helping others. So if you ask for help, most likely, they will be happy to help you or let you know something and it will make them feel good too. And remember that people aren’t against you—they’re for themselves.
Work hard. Play hard. Put effort into important things that need to be done. Schoolwork, your job—do these things in a way so that you’ll be proud of them. But then take time to have some fun and cherish those times when you’re hanging out doing nothing and being stupid with your friends. They’ll be gone way too fast.
My last bit of advice is one that my grandmother told me: You can’t reach your full potential as long as you’re always worried about pleasing other people and worried about what they think.