During my Freshman year (including four months of summer), I have tried various things and made plenty of mistakes. New people came into my life to bring out the best and worst of me. And summer was the peak of it — I had never felt so unbelievably low in the past twenty years of my life. In the end, I shallow all the embarrassment, the regrets, the shame, the pain to keep my head up and move on. I have learned my lessons the hard way. Since it hurts so much, and for what I have lost, it gives me the strength to never make the same mistake twice.
Here is my list of lessons that I’ve learned throughout the year.
1. Watch your limit
I remember I was wasted twice. The first time, I was almost unconscious. I puked twice in a friend’s bathroom. It wasn’t fun. The second time, I couldn’t carry myself properly and made a fool of myself in front of strangers. Male, to be specific. Including a person I had feelings for. I lost my dignity that night to the most undeserving person on earth and that experience stings.
Never. Get. Wasted. Again.
2. Go out with people that you can trust
I can’t stress enough that you need to go with people you really know, who watch out for each other and won’t leave anyone behind. Especially if you’re a girl. Good friends are there to stop you when you have too much to drink, take care of you when it’s already too late and make sure everyone in the group is safe. It’s obvious that only when you go with quality people could you have a quality time. At least that’s the type of fun I would like to have.
From my own experiences, basically, you can’t trust those girls who instantly “OMG, you’re my BFF!!” to anyone they’ve just met. They won’t care if you’re shit-faced or being harassed by some random dude since they are already off with one. And If you want to go home, they will leave you finding your own way because they still need to #yolo in another club at 4 am. This sucks. These people suck. And you suck for even hanging around with them in the first place. So, stop.
3. Don’t waste time on people who aren’t genuine
I’m genuine so I expect the same from the people I befriend with. Seriously, ain’t nobody have time for the people who pretend to be nice in front of you but talk shit behind your back. You don’t need that kind of friends for the sake of having friends. At least, not when you’re in your twenties. Your time is better spent on the people who genuinely care about you and are happy to be with you. Fake people have to go ASAP.
Also, you don’t need to be bothered by the petty people who judge you and bash you without even knowing you in real life. They are lame and pathetic. Seriously, fuck them, though.
4. Life is too short to not be happy
During my three weeks in Vietnam, I spent one in Hanoi with my best girlfriend and our group of close friends. At one point I realized that there wasn’t a single moment that I didn’t feel happy. Like a kind of high that I was addicted to. I talked a lot and I laughed even more. I did not even have time to be bothered by any thing on earth. Thanks to these wonderful, beloved people, I have known what it’s like to be happy and that I deserve such happiness. They treat me with care, respect, trust and love.
I thought to myself that, life should be this way. All. The. Time. And why not? Surround myself with the genuine people who make me happy. Have fun any time possible. Stay focused but take life easy. Right now I’m completely positively energized and it feels so great.
5. Learn to prioritize
What’s most important? What’s urgent? What’s not? These questions seem to be easy to answer but most of the time, I’m totally fucked up. I’m hung up on the most trivial things that I have no practical way to deal with while neglecting the matters that would directly affect my future. That summer, I was feeling shit most of the time. I did not do things that I were supposed to do. I did everything without a clear purpose, so the result was a total mess. Above all, I did not prioritize my happiness. I made decisions based on impulses and temporary feelings without careful consideration. I had to pay my price, which was not cheap.
I have decided that my happiness, my health, my family, the people I love and my work are my priorities. Any other thing comes second.
6. Befriend with the right people
In the past, I have tried hard to reach out to people, even those who clearly weren’t bothered by being friends with me at all and those who I barely had anything in common with. It was a shame that I did make friends for the sake of having friends, out of the fear that I would not have anyone to go out with when I felt bored and lonely. I was somehow pressured by my own idea of myself to be this social butterfly that could be friends with just anyone. Then I realized it was dumb and exhausting. You can’t force a friendship. It should happen naturally based on common values and interests. Or some kind of chemistry. A week back in my home town hanging out with my real friends has reminded me what friendship really means, which has pretty much pushed up my standards of choosing people to befriend and keep in touch with.
7. If it’s meant to be, it will work out perfectly
I’ve read it somewhere that when it comes to love, you should chill the fuck out because if there is something truly special between two people, it will always be there whether now or three months down the line. I think it’s true. If bad timing is ever a matter, then wait for the right time to come. There is really no need to rush it. In the meantime, you should simply focus on the now and here. Who knows what will happen.
8. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone
Not to your parents. Not to your friends. Not to your ex. Not even to yourself. You can just be you and you are okay. Take your time to get to know yourself at your own pace. The people who are worth your time are those who can be patient with you and want to see the real you.
So, let go of the past you and be open to the new you. This is a temporary state of you that builds but cannot define the whole of you. You’re still changing and evolving. After all, life is what you make it out to be. It’s totally your call!