It’s the official last day of 2017, and as we prepare and look forward to 2018 I think now would be the perfect time to reflect on this past year. 2017 has been a year of change and growth for many of us. This year, like many of my friends, was my first year out of the house as a student and an almost adult. With that, came numerous new and fun experiences and a whole lot of adjustment. But most importantly, life lessons that I will take to my grave.
1. The 3 Day Rule
If you’re doing something for the first time and it doesn’t feel right, give it 3 days. If by or after the 3rd day things haven’t changed, cut it. This refers to starting a new job, workout plan, and developing a new habit. This is absolutely not backed up by any scientific evidence to say that things don’t change after 3 days but from my personal experience, if shit’s been going south for 3 days and by the 4th day it’s still shit, then its shit. Leave it, you don’t deserve shit in your life. Unless it ultimately makes you a better person. Obviously.
2. Get Work Experience
When I decided to enroll in culinary school I knew from the start that being a chef was not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I had an idea of what the chef lifestyle would be; long hours, no social life etc but only when I actually started working those long 12 hour shifts every day did it confirm that this chef life… ain’t for me, fam. Whatever career and work field you have decided to dedicate your life to, try to get work experience as soon as you can. Even if it’s as an unpaid intern (which it probably will be because that’s how you start) just do it, and do it soon. Because only through actual work in that industry will you know for sure whether or not you really want to do whatever you’re studying to do for a substantial portion of your life.
Time is money my friends, and the quicker you realise this, the better. Wasting other people’s time is not only incredibly disrespectful but it makes you unreliable and irresponsible. When it comes to things that matter, like having a job, your boss will not find it funny when you show up an hour later than you said you would. Your boss doesn’t love you like your friends do. S/he won’t lovingly accept it as a personality flaw like your friends do. They will not like it. And if you think that won’t affect your job review and performance, think a-fucking-gain. I make sure to always arrive at least 10 minutes earlier than I should. Not only does it give me time to relax and gather my nerves before doing whatever I have to do but also because you never know what could happen on your commute. Give yourself time to potentially handle any unexpected traffic or unexpected car-is-refusing-to-start.
4. First Impressions Count
After a good amount of different jobs I’ve had for a 19-year-old, I’ve learnt that first impressions are fucking important. That’s why punctuality is so vital. If you’re going to your job interview, or first day of work, or even a first date, and you pitch up early, mark my words, whoever you’re trying to impress, will be impressed. They’ll think you’re responsible and reliable and they’ll love you for it. When meeting someone for the first time come with a friendly smile, a fresh cut, pleasant smell, and your best manners. They’ll never forget the first time they met you, so make sure it’s a delightful memory.
5. Use Your Money Wisely
To be honest with you, this is a lesson that I’m still working on. It’s a particularly difficult one for me because I like having nice things, no matter how unnecessary. However, whether you have a salary or allowance, as soon as you get that message from FNB saying you just got paid, buy your essentials. Put in petrol, buy electricity, buy milk and bread, and buy deodorant. It’s so easy to immediately start acting like a baller ass boss ass bitch when FNB makes your day with that text but you can so easily wake up right in the middle of the month hungover and hungry with no food in the fridge, no petrol in your car and no money in your pocket. Or you know… it could be new years eve and you’re sitting on your broke ass wondering how you’re going to celebrate the night when you’re struggling to find the cash to fill up your empty car. *cough cough*
6. Take Care of Your Body
This shouldn’t even be on this list because it’s a no-brainer yet time and time again, it’s something I always forget to do when life “gets in the way”. I say that with inverted commas because, honestly, it’s a bullshit excuse. You’re always in control. Why’d you choose to buy that burger and regular fries when you could’ve bought two-minute noodles and some broccoli for a cheaper and miles healthier dinner? It takes two minutes to wash your face before you go to bed and it takes seconds to drink water. Just do it. I know it’s hard to stop being lazy but you have to stop. After all is said and done, the only thing you have left is you, and if you haven’t been caring for yourself then what do you have!? Also, do some squats from time to time, you gotta keep that booty poppin.
7. Do Not Disregard Your Mental Health
Mental health is just as important (if not more important) as physical health. Please do not disregard your emotions and feelings. It’s okay to say no to people. This is something I am also still trying to learn. Set boundaries, say no. Don’t overstretch yourself to please other people while simultaneously putting a tonne of strain on your soul. It’s okay to take a break and be with yourself. It’s okay to spend the entire day alone doing your favourite things. In fact, it’s imperative that you do so. You need a break sometimes, be it from people or general life responsibilities. Take that day to make yourself a lavish breakfast, deep condition your hair, and do your nails. You need to take care of your mind and soul just as much as your body. Listen to your heart, and follow accordingly.
8. Never Give Up and Always Work Hard (even when you don’t want to)
If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have worked all the jobs I’ve had to work throughout this year but the only thing that makes me end this year feeling accomplished and proud of myself is that I did. And through every single one of my jobs, I can say that I tried. Not only did I merely try, but I tried my best, I worked damn hard, and I never quit! (Only when I was being disrespected, underappreciated, and verbally abused. But that’s a story for another day.) Because I knew that through all the bullshit I would come out stronger, wiser, and better. Even in the shittiest of jobs (I had to work at a butchery. Imagine that… As a vegan.) I did the type of work I would be proud of. Hard work always pays off. The satisfaction you’ll feel after fully completing your work is worth all the perceived rubbish you had to go through. I promise you that. Moreover, you can sleep at night knowing your time was not wasted because you got the most out of the experience from putting in the work.
I look forward to 2018 and although I have yet to set any resolutions for the new year, I hope for even more life experiences and lessons because that’s what life is all about; growth. Be blessed, enjoy the new year’s festivities and have a prosperous 2018 filled with just as much growth and self-development.
A humongous THANK YOU to you, the reader. Thank you for all your support this year through reading my posts, liking, commenting and sharing on socail media, asking me questions and generally showing any interest in my life and blog. Your support means the absolute world to me and I hope it continues and grows in the new year. Be blessed.