What I Learned in 2016

A Look Back on 2016

A year is long time to grow, and I definitely did a lot of that over the past 365 days. I keep seeing tweets, Facebook posts, etc… on how 2016 was a terrible year, and that 2017 has to be better. These are something I notice every single year around this time, and I feel like it’s a very narrow way to view such a long period of time.

Just in the past month, I can pick out some pretty great highs and lows in my life, and both of these got me to where I need to be and where I am right now. I was thinking back on my year for this post, and it made me realize, truly, just how long a year is.


  1. Let go of the people in your life who are toxic. This is such a cliche, but I finally found the veracity of it this past year. If there is someone in your life who is bringing you down, who is never truly happy for your successes, leave them in 2016.
  2. A bad grade isn’t going to ruin you. Yes, work hard for your grades and work hard for your successes. However, sometimes, it’s just not going to go your way- and that’s okay.
  3. Honestly, hard work is just the key. You aren’t going to get where you want if you sit at home and watch Netflix. Good things don’t come to those who wait. Good things come to those who get up and put themselves out there.
  4. But sometimes, it is necessary to ignore everything and sit at home and watch Netflix all day. Give yourself a break every once in a while, too.
  5. The importance of letting go of things you can’t change. This one has been especially hard for me, but sometimes, there are just things you need to accept. Let it go.
  6. Write everything down. Make a to-do list, write down what you’re thankful for, what pissed you off today. Your brain and your heart will feel a lot lighter.
  7. You may think you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. You don’t. Life is about to swoop right in and change all of your plans- roll with it.
  8. If you find yourself saying you can’t wait for the weekend, for next year, for something in the future that isn’t for sure- stop. Stop waiting for the weekends to go out and be happy. Stop saying you’re going to change this and that, but you’re waiting. Just go do it. Go be happy now. Go to a concert on a Tuesday night and start working towards your fitness goals today. Not tomorrow, not this weekend, not next year. Today.
  9. No more letting yourself get walked over.

In 2016, I broke both of my legs. I left everything that I’ve known for the past 7 years of my life, and went off on my own. I cried approximately 50 times during finals week. I’ve fallen, tripped, and slid my way across campus countless times. The amount of times my phone has broken down…insane. I experienced real life, big girl rejection more than once, and it broke my heart. I lost people, failed tests, and was sick for probably two months straight.

But here’s the thing:

I am so grateful for everything that happened to me this year – even everything above. I learned how to take care of my body and build stronger bones. I learned that I thrive under my newfound independence, and I’ve made some amazing friends, scored an awesome new job, met people who just get me, and felt happier than I have in a long time. I’ve learned how to laugh at myself when I need to, and stepped away from my phone and experienced new things I otherwise wouldn’t have. If I hadn’t experienced rejection, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Every thing that’s happened to me this year, it’s led me to where I’m at right now. And I trust that where I am is where I am supposed to be.

I hope your year was eventful, and that you experienced some amazing things. & I hope 2017 is even better.

xoxo

Gemma


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