As the semester comes to a close and your courses and final exams are completed, it’s crucial to reflect on your personal growth over the past few months. Taking time for reflection is an essential aspect of human development, as it allows us to recognize our progress and identify obstacles that may be impeding our growth. This semester has been transformative for me, and I would like to share the valuable lessons I’ve learned, which have helped me maintain my balance and feel confident that I am right where I am supposed to be. 

         Remember, YOU are the prize. 

  As college students, we often seek approval or validation from others, whether it be in our academics or relationships. However, it is important to recognize that we should not give this too much thought. Ultimately, we are left with ourselves, and regardless of whether we like it or not, we are the only constant in our lives. Therefore, it is not necessary to worry about what others think. We often spend too much time trying to improve ourselves for the sake of others, when in reality, the only person we need to impress is ourselves. Recently, I came to this realization, and it has helped me become the person I desire to be, independently. I’ve learned to pursue my passions, such as writing and photography, and use them to enhance myself. Additionally, I’ve learned that there is no one in your life that is worth giving yourself up for. You are the prize, and at the end of the day, you need to keep bettering yourself. At the end of the day, “a better you” is the prize you want to win. I have come to a realization that no one in your life is worth sacrificing your own well-being for. Ultimately, striving to become a better version of yourself is the most significant accomplishment you can achieve. 

Quality over Quantity

During college, we often hold onto the belief that having more of something is always better. However, as we mature and gain life experience, we come to realize that we truly seek not just more, but rather that which is most valuable. For me, this realization has manifested in my relationships with others. I no longer desire a large number of acquaintances, but rather those who demonstrate an abundance of honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty. It has become clear to me that maintaining inconsistent and negative friendships is not worth my time or energy. By prioritizing quality over quantity this semester, I have noticed a positive shift in my overall mental well-being, as I have found peace in knowing that I am only surrounding myself with people that genuinely care about me.
Change is Essential

The past is the past and we cannot fix that. The only thing we can do is move forward, grow and become a better version of ourselves. In order to do so, we need change. We need to open ourselves to new people and opportunities. We cannot stay in the same place, with the same routines. And in order to do this we may need to feel discomfort, but that is okay. This semester I have made tons of changes in my life. I pushed myself to work harder and work and meet as many new people as possible. As a result of my changing work ethic, I have formed meaningful connections that I wouldn’t have formed if I had stuck to my old habits from the fall. These relationships have proven to be incredibly valuable to me. Moreover, it is important to recognize that sometimes a loss is actually a win. The discomfort that comes with growing out of specific relationships in our lives can be challenging, but it is extremely powerful for self-reflection and growth. As we grow as people, we outgrow people in our lives as well. And we have to understand that this is completely normal and part of life. Overall, letting go of old relationships can be a powerful step toward creating the life we want for ourselves. Do not be afraid of the discomfort that follows change, trust the process, as everything will work out for the better in the end. 

As human beings, we have one job, which is self-care. With the end of the semester approaching, I know this time period can be filled with extra stress and a lack of time. But please make sure to prioritize yourself, and take all the concepts in this piece into consideration. We are young college students and deserve to be happy and follow our dreams and goals with no extra stress added on. Please do not allow any outside sources to discourage you from the main goal, which is creating the best version of yourself, followed by success and happiness. 

In general, I encourage you to reflect on the lessons learned from your experiences this semester, whether they were positive or negative. Engaging in thoughtful reflection can offer valuable insights that promote personal and professional growth, as it allows us to learn more about ourselves and the world around us. 

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