Hi everyone,

The things you learn in class will help you throughout the rest of your life, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only skills you need.  In fact, I’ve found that some of life’s most important lessons happen outside the classroom.  Today, I wanted to share 10 lessons that all the reading, writing and arithmetic in the world won’t teach you – these are lessons learned only through experiencing life’s rollercoaster of ups and downs. With this knowledge under your belt, hopefully you will be able to approach the future a little more prepared for everything to come – from celebrations to setbacks to everything in between.  Ready? Let’s turn to Chapter One…

1.) The importance of rest: I firmly believe in all of my subbies’ abilities to achieve their wildest dreams – but it’s important that you are leaving enough time in the day to give your body (and brain) some rest.  We should all channel our inner Superwoman when it comes to pursuing our passions, but if you’re always doing a million things a day – even if they’re all enjoyable – eventually, you will burn out.  A lot of people learn this the hard way, so take my advice now and give your body the break it deserves.  Whether it’s a pampering day at the spa, a night in with the girlfriends or just an effort to actually get 8 hours of sleep (it’s harder than it sounds!), giving your body time to rest and recharge is what will help you keep doing what you love in the long run.

2.) Credit card checklist: A lot of people attribute post-college life with financial freedom.  And with that financial freedom comes one very appealing perk: credit cards.  But before you go dashing off to the nearest bank, make sure to ask yourself three questions (I call it the “credit card checklist”): 1.) Do I have a steady source of income? 2.) Have I been responsible with my money in the past? 3.) Will I be able to stay under the monthly credit limit? If you answered yes to all three of these questions, then you are set to apply for a credit card.  A lot of banks will target new graduates, so make sure you are really ready for the responsibility!

3.) Know your needs: Know what makes you happy – then don’t be afraid to ask for it.  Whether it’s in the workplace, in your relationships, or any other part of your life, standing up for yourself is something you should never be afraid to do.  A lot of people may avoid it because they are afraid it will make them appear selfish or demanding, but in the end, you are in charge of your own happiness.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve!    

4.) Friendships take effort: Friendships can feel so easy in school; after all, you see each other in class everyday.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the way it always is.  As we grow up, our lives get filled with new things – and sometimes before we know it, those effortless friendships have faded into the background in the blink of an eye.  If I’ve learned anything, it’s that even the best friendships require effort to keep the bond strong.  And just because they take some work doesn’t mean they’re not worth holding onto! So don’t forget to call up your friends on the weekends or set up a weekly dinner date.

5.) Focus inwards, not outwards: One of the biggest pitfalls you can encounter in life is to constantly compare yourself to those around you.  It’s okay – we all fall into that trap every once and awhile. The thing is, comparing yourself will never make you happy – and that’s a life lesson that it takes some people years to learn!  Instead of focusing on those around you, turn the focus inwards.  Find out what makes you happy and focus on doing that.  Don’t be afraid to relish all of your own victories, from the big to the small.  

6.) Take risks: Just because something scares you doesn’t mean it can’t be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.  Taking risks in your life can have huge pay-offs.  And even if they don’t always go the way you’d like, I’ve always believed that I would rather have experienced it than be left wondering “what if?”  The next time an opportunity comes knocking, take it – some of the best things in life only happen when you leave what’s comfortable and take a leap of faith.

7.) Travel: Nothing opens your eyes and refreshes your spirit as much as travel.  I don’t know if it’s the change of scenery or the ability to experience a different culture, but traveling always puts things in perspective.  It makes you realize that the world is so much bigger than just you! I’m not saying that everyone has to go on an expensive trip to another continent; in fact, simply going on a weekend road trip to a different city can be a breath of fresh air.  I highly recommend that everyone take at least one trip outside his or her city – it will forever change the way you view the world.

8.) Avoid gossip: Almost every girl has gossiped before – but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to keep doing it. Gossip may seem harmless and fun at first, but it can easily turn into an ugly tool that can hurt feelings, tear apart friends and ruin relationships.  Don’t underestimate the power of words.  Next time you feel the urge the gossip, picture how you would feel if you were the other person overhearing what you were about to say.  If you can’t say it in front of the person you are talking about, don’t say it at all!

9.) Appreciate the little things: Sometimes we get so caught up in the crazy whirlwind of life that we lose sight of what’s important.  I find that taking a step back and appreciating the little pleasures that often go unnoticed – from the smell of fresh coffee in the morning to the way the city glistens after a thunderstorm – always helps me refocus.  Think of the way little kids get so excited about the simplest things that we usually take for granted.  The world is a beautiful, exciting place – let’s spend more time focusing on that than worrying about things out of our control.  

10.) You are stronger than you know: No matter what life throws your way, no matter how many times your heart gets broken, no matter how many disappointments you experience, know this: you are stronger than you know. Time heals all wounds, and no matter how down you may feel, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You will emerge from every low period in your life with a lesson learned and a better understanding of yourself.  So let yourself cry – but after awhile, let yourself heal.  You might be surprised at your own strength.

I hope these lessons were helpful to all of you! If you have back to school questions, make sure to check out my answers here.

Which lesson hits closest to your heart? Any that you think I forgot to include? Tell me in the comments! And let me know if you want me to keep doing these types of posts in the future :)

<3 Mish

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