My experience with self-growth at age 22.
I recently saw a tweet that said something along the lines of “If you met me between the years 2015-2018, allow me to re-introduce myself.” and BOY did that resonate with me. I graduated high school in 2015, and now here I am, four years later, two semesters away (hopefully) from graduating UCF with a B.A. in advertising & public relations. If you told 18 year old Colleen back in 2015 that she would go through a serious period of self growth in the next few years, she would have shrugged and not believed it. But here I am today to reflect on a couple of things (negative & positive) that helped shape me to be the young woman I am today, and I am proud of it.
I will go ahead and let you know right now- this isn’t going to be a blog post full of pretty pictures… it will be rather wordy so prepare for that haha. But here, I’ll go ahead and humor you really quickly. In 2015 I had short black hair and now I have blonde hair. Talk about a transformation. “It’s not a phase, mom.” NO. It definitely was, and that’s completely okay.
Alright, so here we go: I am going to list off a couple of things that really helped me grow as a person.
Number One: I have mentioned this in a previous blog post, but being single most of my college experience has been one of the best things for me. I graduated high school and was in a wonderful relationship, but when it came time for college, things got tough and we broke up. I was heartbroken for the longest time, and was in another relationship after that, but that one didn’t work either. I grew up thinking I had to be in a relationship all the time (for some stupid reason) but honestly taking a break from relationships and dating has been such a healthy experience for me. I have learned so much about myself which sounds SUPER corny but hear me out. Having this time to focus on myself and my goals has been so beneficial to me. I feel like I am really getting my shit together (pardon my French) and when the time comes along for me to be in a relationship again, what’s meant to be will be. I just know I am fine with or without a significant other.
Number Two: CUT TOXIC PEOPLE OUT. Seriously! I have had so many people come in and out of my life which is natural. But some people are meant to be out of your life with good reason. I have had several friendships end, which is fine and honestly normal for things to fade out sometimes. But if you stopped associating with someone in your real life, it might be a good idea stop associating with them in the digital world as well. I have had issues with girls “sub-tweeting” me about the dumbest things and I realized “You know what? I don’t need to keep seeing this negativity. BLOCKED.” People hate to see you happy and successful, but those are the people that really don’t matter, and they can go bring their sour attitude somewhere else. Bye bye! You are better off without them.
Number Three: Have confidence in yourself. There is only one YOU so embrace that ‘ish. Be unapologetic-ally yourself, babe.
Number Four: Treat your body with respect. Fuel it with healthy things. I danced for most of my life until I graduated high school. That kept me in amazing shape, and back then I could eat whatever I wanted to without having to worry about weight gain. I would burn thousands of calories a day. Now, not so much. I try to stay on top of things as best as I can though! When I first started college, I kept eating whatever, whenever- but I wasn’t nearly as active as I was when I was dancing 5 days a week. Now I try to be more conscious of what I put into my body, and hit the gym as often as I can.
Number Five & Six: Be persistent and do not be afraid to take risks. Stepping out of your comfort zone can really help you grow as a person- I know it helped me. A year ago I had no idea where I would be today. But I was 1 of 50 students admitted into my limited access major at UCF, I got the opportunity to travel out of state twice with my first internship, and now I am interning at one of my dream locations. If I didn’t shoot my shot and apply for all of these things, I would be in a different place right now. I am in the right place now, and I am so grateful. Taking risks and making change can be scary, but so worth it. You got this! To quote momager Kris Jenner: You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
Now these are just a couple of things that have helped me with self-love/growth. I am still working to improve myself everyday. Let me know what your journey with self growth has been, I want to know!
xoxo, Colleen Marie