Monday, May 16, 2016

Lessons Learned: Becoming an Adult Version Part Two

Well, I feel like writing this blog post is coming to you on the perfect day. After months of a backed-up inbox, I have now brought my emails down to the magical number of zero. Not going to lie, it feels pretty good. I have a few weeks left overseas which includes a lot of travelling, but I’ve realized how much I’ve grown since I’ve been here. And, of course, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned as an adult. I wrote a previous version where I was 83 days into my time away from home. I’m now over 200 days in, and I feel like I’ve learned and grown so much more in the months since my last post. I’m near the end of my time away from home, but I can feel myself shift into a more adult frame of mind. This is what brought me to that.

1.       Friendships will change.

You get older, you finish school, and people move away and get married and have their own lives. The things you used to base friendships on no longer apply to friendships. You’re going to have to renegotiate what being friends means. Maybe it can’t be baking nights, but it can be postcards in the mail. It can’t be Starbucks and bookstore dates, but it can be weekly Skype sessions. It can’t be girls nights, but it can be you confidante on the other side of the ocean. The right friends will stay in your life, but it takes time to figure out how to be friends when lives are changing.

2.       Always be open to learning new techniques.

For me, this has more to do with school. I always find that the concluding paragraph is the hardest to write in an essay because it’s dead last and you’re at the end but not really. This year, I started writing concluding paragraph after I write my opening, and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. So, what I have learned here is that you’re never done learning how to do something, so you need to be open to finding new ways to complete things that makes your life easier.

Taken from the top of Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland.
3.       Do your dishes (right away).

I remember reading some kind of meme that said something about the real walk of shame being when you walk down the hallway with armfuls of dishes you’ve been hoarding in your room. Well, I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I’ve been there. During second semester, I got better about cleaning up after myself. Whether you eat in your room or eat in the kitchen area, it declutters the space meaning you have a cleaner head (that’s what I believe at least). I think this is important especially if you live with other people because there is nothing more annoying than not having the counter space to cook.

4.       Cheap coffee tastes like cheap coffee.

There are certain things that you HAVE to spend money on. I learned a few of them. One: coffee. You may think you’re so great saving money on coffee, but you will get sick of the terrible taste. Trust me. I came up with a great cheap coffee hack though – put a few tablespoons of hot chocolate mix in your mug and you have improved the taste by making a mocha. Chocolate is a saviour. Some other things to spend more money on: socks, pens, plungers, and cling film.

5.       You will learn new ways to support people when you’re away from them.

My friends have family seemed to have been through some tough stuff when I’ve been gone. It’s difficult to be away from people when you know you could help them. Just like the way you need to renegotiate friendships, you also need to renegotiate the ways in which you support people. For example, you can order them a little present for a pick me up, write them a nice message on Facebook, or write them a letter. Digital hugs aren’t as effective as the real ones, but the thought put into them will mean a lot to those who know how much they mean to you.

Scarborough seaside, England.
6.       Not everyone is a good friend.

This is a tough one that I seem to be learning over and over. Just because people invite you somewhere, it doesn’t mean they’re going to include you. Sometimes, friends are flaky. The thing is, that doesn’t make them not your friend. It just doesn’t make them a good one. It means you need to figure out what you can and can’t do with them. I’ve been struggling to connect with people here the way I do at home. Some of the things that have happened to me here would never happen with my friends at home, and I miss them even more. My problem is that I see the best in everyone, and I’m disappointed when people show their true side.

7.       Don’t wear skirts if you’re doing a lot of walking in the summer.

I almost don’t want to tell you about this, but if this doesn’t constitute a “real not ideal” moment, then nothing does. I went to the seaside last week, and I wore a skirt. It was not worth it. I did a lot of walking, and am now dealing with the worst chaffing blisters I have ever experienced. People think I’m being overdramatic until they see how big they are. It happens at the beginning of every shorts season, for me at least, but keep in mind that walking plus skirts plus warm weather is the worst possible mix.

I guess that’s about it for now. It’s interesting to look back at my last post to see what has changed since then. I can imagine myself looking back on this one way in the future and remembering these events. Today, I’m going to be writing a bunch of posts to have ready for you while I’m travelling. I was supposed to be in Amsterdam today and tomorrow, but I had to cancel that trip. I’ll be in Ireland at the end of the week, and I cannot wait! I’m meeting up with a friend from home, and then my family arrives on the weekend! I’ve got some amazing things coming up, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned as an adult?

-Daniella