Throughout the last few years of college, I thought that I was satisfied with how my life was going. I loved being involved with my sorority, I was doing extremely well in school (shocking people every time I told them about my three majors), I had an impressive internship at the courthouse, I landed an awesome job (that I actually liked) at a corporate law firm, and I was dating a boy that made me happy. Then, as I felt senior year approaching, I started to feel differently.
I began to feel like I was doing a lot of things for no reason. I was spending so much time stressing over my schoolwork and my work schedule, and trying to please everyone but myself. I would cry when I got an A- instead of an A+, and curse myself for not putting in more effort. I would change my mind about doing certain things because other people criticized them. I would wake up in the morning and choose that boy’s happiness over my own, and thinking about not having him at school would give me an anxiety attack.
Then I thought to myself, why the hell should I care about any of this?
This is the last year that I’m going to be able to live with all of my best friends within walking distance of me. This is the last year I have to myself before worrying about full-time employment and financial independence consumes me. This is the last year that it’s going to be acceptable to drink as much tequila as I want (sorry, Gail). And I hate to be cryptic, but this is the last year that I am going to be able to truly feel (somewhat) carefree, and that started to really freak me out. So I made a few changes. I’m choosing me.
Yes, I still care about school. And I’ll probably still be upset when I don’t get the A+, but I’m not going to let that bring me down. I started making my decisions based on my own happiness, not anyone else’s. And you know what? It isn’t the end of the world, like I thought it would be for the past three years. I started to choose myself, and I’m very happy with my choice. I know so many people who care way too much about how they look in the eyes of others; worrying about things like bar outfits and Instagram likes more than what is going to make them satisfied with the life they’re living. Throughout the past three years, there were so many things that I thought were necessary to put before my own happiness, and I am so thankful that I finally realized I was wrong. How can I expect to be satisfied with my success in any of those things if I don’t like the person I am at the end of the day? I can’t. I have to be happy with myself before I can be happy with anything else.
So, my advice to you is: choose yourself. Choose your own happiness, and do the things that are going to make you excited to wake up in the morning. Go out with your friends if you know you’ll be able to finish your assignment in the morning. Sleep in the penthouse suite with people you’ve only met once before. Don’t go to the boring party just because your friend wants to see that boy who may or may not like her today. Get the tattoo even though your dad might sell your car. Choose yourself, and you’ll be amazed with how your self image changes.