As we approach the New Year, you should spend time to reflect on 2016. This year was a roller coaster; you experienced heartbreak, you spent a summer in NYC alone, you turned 20 years old, you fell in love, you made so many memories, and you've accomplished so much. So while your friends begin making their New Year resolutions, I don't want you to make any resolutions. Instead, I want to remind you of a few principles that I want you to live by over the next 365 days.
Over the next few months, you have a lot of decisions to make. There are so many uncertainties that lie ahead and I can't even imagine how many twists and turns you'll face. It's all part of the excitement of life though; you never know what to expect. Every day will come with a new challenge and I hope you remember the following guidelines when you don't know what to do. I can't promise that these things will get you where you want to be, but they'll get you where you're supposed to be.
1. Travel every chance you get.
If there's anything I learned during 2016, it's that I LOVE to travel. I love being in airports and being in new places. New York opened my mind to so many things and I hope you'll take advantage of that. I hope that you seize every opportunity to travel and make new memories. Whether it's traveling to Florida for Spring Break or traveling to a city for a weekend get-away... do it.
2. Take risks.
This year comes with a lot of uncertainties. You'll experience new classes, another internship, the start of your Senior Year, and more. I hope you step outside of your comfort zone and take risks. Apply for that internship that you don't think that you'll get. Book a flight to a place you never thought you'd go. Dare to fall even more in love. Do something so crazy that your friends won't believe you when you tell them. Life will be so much richer if you take more chances.
3. Keep smiling.
I have a feeling that this year will come with a lot of highs, but also a lot of lows. I want you to keep smiling on the darkest of days. Remember that everything happens for a reason and that you're on the path that you're supposed to be on. The bad times are what make you appreciate the good times.
4. Put yourself first.
You need to remember to look out for yourself, because nobody else will. There's nothing wrong with being selfish some days. So go ahead and turn off your cell phone, take a day off from classes, and eat a pint of ice cream. I want you to take care of yourself this year.
5. But don't forget to help others.
You have so much going for you. But please don't forget to lend a helping hand to others. Donate to random GoFundMe pages, raise money for Dance Marathon, smile at a stranger, and be nice to everyone. Even the smallest acts of kindness can mean the world to someone else.
6. Spend time with family and friends.
These important people won't always be around. In fact, many of your closest friends are graduating this year. Don't let work or class take over your life. Make sure to spend as much time with your family and friends as possible because those memories are going to the be the ones you'll remember at the end of the year.
7. Believe in yourself.
There are going to be plenty of challenges that you'll face this year. But I believe that you will succeed. Don't let anything stand in the way of your dreams. Remember that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything!
I think that 2017 will be the best year yet because that's exactly what you'll make it. I believe in a year full of laughter, tears, uncertainty, confusion, joy, love, and confidence because that's what life is. Above all these things, however; I believe in a strong, independent and happy 2017 Me. Let's do this.