Winter Wonderland!

I successfully completed my first semester of graduate school!!! And let me just say that it sucked. But when I submitted my final 22-page paper, it felt great. So now that the semester is over and the year is coming to an end I have time to reflect.

2010….wow…wow…WOW! I’m not sure if those are good wow’s or bad. So much happened in this year. Started of the year trying to figure out what to do with my life between applying to grad schools and applying for jobs. Met a guy, fell in love, then fell out of love and learned a lot about myself in the process. Heard the word “No” and “Denied” more than I’d ever heard before. Learned how to deal with that and move as well. Travelled to two, no, THREE foreign countries. Went to Mexico for Spring Break, Studied Abroad in London for a month! And even visited a friend in Paris while I was there. Oh and I graduated from THE best university, THE University of Texas at Austin with two Bachelors degrees. Then I began my next adventure in Florida at the University of Central Florida to work on my Master’s.

Blessed doesn’t even begin to describe my year. I also learned some very valuable life lessons during this year as well. I guess I’ll just list them as the LESSONS OF 2010.

LESSONS OF 2010

1. Know thyself.

I know that is a no-brainer, but every once in a while we fall off the wagon. For me, I found myself in this relationship and begin to lose sight of who I was and my needs, hopes, and dreams. Towards the end of it, I had to chose between a job in TX and grad school hear in FL. And I must say that deciding to come to FL was the best decision I could have made. Sometimes I wonder how things would be had I stayed in TX, but at the end of the day, me coming out to FL helped me rediscover myself and see how strong of a person I am.

2. Get used to rejection

As someone who hardly ever hears no, I must admit that hearing the word is very difficult. Especially when it involves matters of your future and comes in multiples. I went through a rough period of uncertainty and even questioned God earlier this year. What exactly was God trying to do, trying to tell me. Doesn’t God want me to be happy and successful? I had to learn that what I want is not always what I need and what is good for me, and that sometimes those rejections are pointing me in the direction of something else.

3. Take Chances

I had considered studying abroad for a while and decided to finally squeeze it in at the end of my college career in the form of a Maymester. It was the perfect idea because although it was tied to a class, I didn’t need it to graduate. So I was basically on vacation in London for a month. It truly opened my eyes to the vastness of the world. I know that the world is a huge place, but you never truly understand until you are across the Atlantic experiencing another country where the U.S. isn’t the center of everything. It was fascinating to see how people behave in other countries as well as how they are run and different cultural norms. It also made me appreciate the uncertainty of time. Time is not guaranteed to any of us, and while it is good to make plans for the distant future (I’m going back to London in 2012), it’s also important to live in the present and explore and experience new things at every opportunity.

4. Appreciate your friends

I always say that I have few but very high quality friends. When I moved to FL and had to deal with being alone and newly single, my friends were the main reason that I made it through. They dealt with every crying phone call or depressed and self-pitying text message. And especially to my new friend who couldn’t have entered my life at a better time and made my transition a lot less difficult. I am so grateful for each of them, and so happy to consider them not just my friends but my family members.

5. Reflect

This last one is something that I am currently working on. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that we don’t even stop to look around and reflect on our lives and how far we’ve come. This time 5 years ago, I had submitted all of my college applications and was anxiously anticipating graduation and being a college freshman! Now I’m working on my Master’s degree. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really amazing and inspiring people and I’ve gotten to see some of the world in such little time. If this is what the last 5 years was like, I can’t wait to experience the next 5 years.

-T

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