What I Learned in 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on a few lessons I learned in 2015. 2015 was easily the most life-changing year for me, and I am so grateful for all the new memories and friends that I made these past twelve months.

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone is good for you.
    • After traveling abroad for almost four months, this is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. Each day I was surrounded by challenges that I had to face, decisions that I had to make, and opportunities that I could take — or not take. Saying yes to things that I normally wouldn’t say yes to has been eye-opening and doing things that may seem scary at first glance was when I grew the most.
  • Travel opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.
    • I know I’ve been talking about study abroad a lot recently, but honestly, I can’t stress enough how life-changing that experience was for me. From traveling around Europe, my eyes were opened to all the possibilities that I am surrounded by. After my semester ended, I really started to reconsider exactly what I want to do after I graduate in May.
  • The world really isn’t that small.
    • Though there are so many people on this earth, so many different countries, and a wide range of different cultures, it’s important to realize that the world isn’t that small. From traveling, it’s crazy how many connections I made and how many people I came across that I was somehow connected to. I also learned that even though we may all speak a different language, smiles and laughter are the universal language.
  • Surround yourself with people who matter.
    • I’ve really learned this year the importance of cutting out the people in my life who aren’t contributing to my happiness. Why waste time with people who are bringing you down? It’s way more important to have a few close friends who really care than a whole lot of “friends” or acquaintances who won’t be there when you really need them.
  • Speaking up, even if you’re afraid to, will do wonders for you.
    • I’m a relatively quiet person and I’m normally afraid to speak up and voice my opinion. This year, I’ve gained a lot more confidence and realized that so many good things will happen when you let your voice be heard.
  • Stepping out of your inner circle is okay.
    • Don’t always follow the crowd. There are several instances I can name this year that I could have either stuck with my close circle of friends or gone out and done something that I wanted to do, by myself or with a new group of people. Make the most of the time you have by doing what you want to do, not just following what your friends are doing.
  • Your family will always have your back.
    • I’ve known this for my whole life, but this year, this lesson was very apparent. Like we all do from time to time, I went through a few rough patches and it proved how much my family really cares about me and will be there for me through it all.

What were some lessons you learned this year? I’d love to hear!

Hope everybody has a happy and safe new year!

xx Emily

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