What I Learned 5 Years Since I Graduated High School

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I left my small hometown and moved states away to start my freshman year. I feel like the same person, but sometimes it’s hard to zoom out on your life and see what other people see. I can tell my opinions of myself have changed (re: better self-esteem and a positive body image, usually) and my opinions of others have changed too (re: you do you).

What I Learned 5 Years Out of High School

One of the most important things I’ve learned in the past five years was to question everything around me and to make my own decisions and opinions based on my own thoughts and research. It’s my subtle way of not being a follower and standing out from the crowd. If my decision ultimately leads me to jump on the bandwagon that’s okay, as long as it was a conscious decision to lead me there.

I don’t know if I credit this learning to college or just to mature aging, but nonetheless I’ve learned a lot about myself that 18 year old Cecelia didn’t know she could learn.

  1. You’ll grow apart from some friends but that’s okay because it means that you’re growing up into the people you really are.
  2. The homework some of your teachers gave you actually prepared you for college courses (thanks APUSH).
  3. Pining over a crush is a waste of time unless you’re planning on making a move.
  4. It gets easier to talk to your parents.
  5. Your self-esteem will rise and fall with the seasons but you’ll learn when to expect the highs and lows.
  6. You’ll care less about what other people think about you.
  7. There will always be popular people but no one cares as much about them.
  8. Your book and music taste will probably broaden.
  9. Practically everything you learned in history textbooks was a lie.
  10. Rock bottom has a lot of different layers.
  11. Everyone is struggling, even if they seem totally put together.
  12. There’s a lot of interesting people out there and it’s fun to make friends with people you wouldn’t normally be friends with.
  13. There’s no real such thing as being normal anyway.

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