Thoughts About: A Year Ago

So about a year and a half ago I started a gap year, ending it this fall to go to university. While I do miss some of the aspects of that year, I’ve also learnt so much while here at university, and since it’s a new year, I decided to make a (short) list of things I’ve learnt in the last year and a half.


  1. That thing that you want to do but doubt yourself about? DO IT.
  2. Talk to strangers, they have interesting stories. (but be safe)
  3. Approach life with a positive mindset and you’ll get so much done.
  4. Learn about your fears. Then face them.
  5. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
  6. Send a message to someone you miss or haven’t spoken to for a while.
  7. Get a planner and put everything important in it, from exams to bills. It will save your life (a few times).
  8. Be spontaneous, go on random adventures.
  9. Talk to your professor. They’re not mean.
  10. Explore the services you have access to where you live. I mean, puppies in SUB? During exams? LIFESAVER.
  11. Take one hour every day for you. And only you.
  12. Get fresh air. Especially if you’re a student cooped up inside.
  13. Eat your fruits and veggies.
  14. If you learnt a second/third/, etc. language, find somebody to practice with.
  15. Wear flip flops in questionable showers.
  16. Do a little bit of a monstrous task each day and it’ll be easier. Plus it will seem like less work.
  17. Wake up earlier. Yes, your bed is comfy. No, it does not do homework.
  18. Learn how to make basic meals. You’ll feel grown up and will save money by going out less.
  19. Read the news.
  20. Do your laundry before you’re wearing questionable clothing on campus.
  21. Don’t get too excited about meal hall.
  22. Say thank you and please.
  23. Learn when to cut out toxic people in your life.
  24. Travel.
  25. Find a hobby that you like. Like writing, or photography. Or playing board games.
  26. Dress to impress yourself first, and others second.
  27. Buy noise cancelling earbuds. You’ll thank yourself when the business students are partying Thursday night and you have an exam Friday.
  28. Book flight and buses in advance. It’s cheaper.
  29. Use your student discount for groceries or whatever you can find.
  30. Small town life and city life are both pretty awesome. I mean, my profs say hi at the grocery store. But the city has more nightlife.
  31. Do frosh things. Even if they seem stupid or daunting. And then you can say, “Remember that one time I went down a Jello slide?”
  32. Have goals, and keep making new ones.
  33. Find a cozy space on campus to call you’re own.
  34. Recognise that some days will be awful and that it’s okay not to be okay. Dust yourself off and try again tomorrow.
  35. Never doubt the power of the Nicholson stairs, and that you’ll be out of breath by the end of them.
  36. Naps. Beautiful things those are.
  37. Learn your alcohol tolerance, and eat before and during your time out. And find electrolyte freezies for the hangover.
  38. As much as cheese is good, it’s not good if it makes you sick.
  39. Have a coloring book. Yes, I’m an adult, and it’s relaxing.
  40. Volunteer your time.
  41. Learn how to listen to your gut instincts.
  42. Don’t spend all your time on somebody who could care less.
  43. Pay your bills on time.
  44. Remember that becoming an adult takes time, and it’s totally normal to call your mom for advice now and then.
  45. When you start to feel sick, do something about it. Don’t wait until five weeks later when you’re hacking up a lung.
  46. Your friends will become your family when you’re on your own. Cherish them.
  47. It’s okay to be sober at the pub.
  48. Treat yourself to nice things. That lipstick will help you kick ass.
  49. Get informed. Ignorance may be bliss, but you’ll need some knowledge in life.

And lastly, #50, remember the most important things in life are a full belly, and a warm and safe place to fall asleep in at night.

-Melissa

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