Recently, the overwhelming enormity of the fact that I am graduating in four months has been hitting me quite hard. Time that once seemed to go at a snail’s pace is now flying by too quickly – and in the midst of the multitude of deadlines and responsibilities I suddenly feel like it’s a shame I have to leave so quickly. I still have an arsenal of advice to hand out, both clichéd and uniquely my own, and am determined to preach it to the public.
Although in my mind I have lived a wizened life, my short yet adventurous 17 years have been filled with more than my fair share of disappointment, heartbreak, teenage angst, anger, and inner turmoil. With such great pain came great responsibility: and the necessity of practicing how to let go.
And so in honor of my age, I present to you 17 tried-and-true, from-the-heart Ways to Let Go.
- Learn how to ignore the devil on your shoulder that encourages you to put down and diminish someone else’s achievements. They worked hard for what they got.
- If they cheated their way into what they got, have faith that they will learn from their own mistakes. Step back and don’t try to take matters into your own hands.
- All the women in the world can be beautiful at the same time. Drill it into your head that you can be just as beautiful as the next girl.
- Take a page out of Atticus Finch’s book and climb into someone else’s skin when you fail to understand them from your own perspective. The way the anger melts away may surprise you.
- Lose the belief that other people have an obligation to make you happy. Go out there and seize the day for yourself – the happiness will follow.
- Don’t hold back your emotions. Not only does a good cry shed hormones that build up during stress, there’s no way of knowing when those pent-up emotions are going to release themselves.
- Get that it’s okay to make mistakes. Nobody can do everything perfectly. Life screws you over sometimes, but you gotta get back up. The road to perfectionism is rocky and dangerous – don’t take it.
- But don’t make the same mistakes. Treat every mistakes as a learning experience and take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Figure out what you want in a friendship (and romantic relationship). A similar sense of humor? Taste in food? Listening skills? It’ll save you a lot of time in the future. A good relationship is worth a hundred mediocre ones.
- Cut ties with friends/SOs who don’t treat you well. You don’t need more negativity.
- Learn how to take criticism. If your first reaction to criticism is anger and defensiveness, find out what’s causing that and deal with it. There’s always room to improve, and your friends/parents/professors are here to help you.
- Relax. A wound up person is not an emotionally healthy person. Watch Netflix or go out on a walk. You deserve it.
- Know that it’s okay to ask for help. No one expects you to do this alone. Reach out to someone when you need to talk or vent.
- Take responsibility. The only person you can control is yourself. When things go awry, don’t dwell on how someone else could have been better, but focus on bettering yourself. Take back the power.
- Pull a Lara-Jean Covey. Write your feelings out in a letter and keep it in your drawer. Or record a video talking about it. Look back on it in a few weeks/months/years and be pleasantly surprised at how much you’ve moved on.
- Know yourself and how you cope with grief. Proceed accordingly when things (and you) fall apart.
- Accept that sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.