What the last two years have taught me

As I contemplate graduating in a couple of weeks I've been thinking a lot about the lessons I have learned over the last 2 years:

1. Life is unexpected no matter how hard you try to plan it

I am a planner. I have a planner. I tend to forget things if I don't write them down, and get frustrated when things don't go the way I planned. The let two years have been strewn with unexpected decisions, and events. I never expected to stay at BYU to complete my graduate degree (in fact it was my last resort, my safety school if you will), I never expected to marry my 15 year old crush whom for most of the rest of high school I had a pretty strong romantic aversion to, I never expected to get a job at a tech start up.

I didn't plan any of this, but its made my life the most fulfilling thing imaginable. I couldn't have planned my life better if I had tried. I have learned that most of the time I don't know what is best for me and that I have to trust the Lord and the path he has for me. I know I will learn this lesson many times throughout my life as I have difficult and unexpected situations come up.

2. Passion keeps me positive

I am an extremely passionate person. I love life, I love school, and I love work (maybe a little too much). I think having things that you are passionate about and/or throwing yourself 100% or more into something allows you to do it well and be proud when you succeed. I also think it allows you to stay positive when other things in your life aren't going too well.

School and friends kept me going when I went through a hard break up two years ago. Work kept me going when school was getting mundane and frustrating. My husband and love of exercise keeps me going when I am stressed at my new job.

3. Good friends can make everything better

Good friends are a must at any time in your life. I was lucky to meet the most amazing people in college. I've made friends at BYU that I will have for a lifetime.

4. You can "make time" for things you didn't think you could if you prioritize and use time wisely

I always hear from people oh I don't have time for reading, I don't have time for exercising, I don't have time for cooking. Which I have found myself saying at some points during these last two years. Then about a year ago I realized something: we are lying to ourselves. We do have time for those things, we just decide to use that time for other things whether it be tv, hanging out with friends, or whatever else. I think it was important for me to realize that when I "don't have time for something" its really just not a priority. I've realized that it is pretty easy for me to shift my priorities around and incorporate something new that I want to focus on.

5. My family is one of the best things in my life

My family is incredible. I have an amazing relationship with both of my parents. My mom is one of my best friends. We don't always see eye to eye on things, and have gotten in some of the stupidest fights on the planet, but she is always there for me and gives really great advice. The great thing is that I get to be there for her too. Sometimes we just call each other to talk, its the best. My dad is one of the goofiest people I know, and he makes me laugh so easily. On top of that he knows a lot about the world and about life. I love going to my parents and discussing life and decisions with them. My little sister is also one of my best friends. We are completely opposite in so many ways, but she is tuna and so wise for her age. She loves helping people and often shows me things I want to develop in myself. And if you have met trev you know he is the most hilarious little thing. I am so lucky to have had them close for the 5 years I have been in college.

6. I don't have all the answers

I think when I graduated from undergrad I was very sure that I had all the answers. I knew what was going on and so many other people were clueless. There is a stereotype that young people come out of college know everything and I carried that one like a champ. I have since realized that I do not have all of the answers. I realized how important it is to know both sides of an issue before deciding which one I believe in. I realized its important to hear from young and old alike because both perspectives are important. I realized that I am EXTREMELY stubborn and sometimes its hard for me to let go even when I know I am wrong (working on it).

7. Be grateful for everything, none of this was me alone

Sometimes I get a little high on myself. I get prideful. I think most people do, but its very easy to do when you are going through higher education. I've realized that I couldn't do any of this without my Lord and Savior. I have made many mistakes along the way and am so grateful for the opportunity to repent and become clean again. I have prayed so many times throughout this journey for peace, for help, and for a positive attitude. I know the Lord won't leave us. He wants us to succeed and wants us to be happy.

Going through this program was extremely challenging and frustrating at times but I am very glad for the people I have met, the memories I have made, and the experiences I have had as a result of it. My grad program was where I learned a ton of life lessons.

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