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Here’s how to make life decisions if you are a student.

Here’s how to make life decisions if you are a student.

Decisions, decisions, decisions, we are making decisions 24/7. Would you have coffee now or later? Burger or salad? Pants or skirt? Am I going out or staying in? Every day we are struggling with decisions and of course we want to make the right ones, sometimes that can be a little bit harder, to be able to see all the positive or negative effects that something will bring to you and your life.

We are used to hearing people saying: do this or don’t, asking friends and mentors for advice and even doing some tests online just to double check if we are right but well, this is something everybody goes thru.

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Choosing a degree

To keep studying and getting a degree is the most common option young people take. If you are thinking about choosing a degree there are several aspects to consider, luckily you have come to the right place. The most poetic advice is to listen to your heart and I mean that’s a fantastic start.

But if you are still having doubts, you can search and read useful information that can help you to choose a degree and make everything clearer for you, especially in that stage of your life. There are many apps like Clearing, a course search engine with useful information to help you make up your mind.

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A similar option that freshmen take, is to look for some universities abroad and enjoy the experiences of living in a new place and getting a degree or even a master’s degree at the same time. This experience can bring a lot of benefits into our lives; you can have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life and learn about new cultures.

Stop worrying too much.

Now, you might have been living alone for quite a while or it could be that you are still living with your parents. If you are already living alone, then you have manage to live on your own and congrats for that, no matter if you are still cooking instants soups. If you’re still with your old folks, it may be a little bit difficult to do the transit to your own apartment. It’s a bittersweet moment of life when the excitement for everything waiting to be discovered meets the uncertainty of the unknown.

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But that will pass. It will take time, but it’s nothing that Netflix won’t fix. Like the North Carolina Home Builder‘s say, preparing to buy your first home can be overwhelming, but you need to be financially prepared, that’s why many young people have trouble, because they do not plan ahead for it.

It’s ok to allow yourself to feel homesick sometimes, but it can be exhaustive if you let the feeling in for too long. There are thousands of students just like you. If you are experiencing something like this, it is time for you (after a good nap if you have time for one) to  jump into the shower, dress up, and go for a walk.

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You can go to the community room if your school has one, to a little pub just around the corner if you are studying in a small town, or you can check out some concerts available on the next days in your city. If you want some more tips, you can also check this list for dealing with homesickness.

If you are planning on living on the university campus, you can search for some ideas of colleges with the best dorms, ‘cus let’s face it, nobody wants to spend most of his or her time somewhere he or she feels like they don’t belong.

Also with all the new rising awareness of sexual assaults on the campus, it’s time for men and women to walk with their eyes open to everything you may face with the frats or faculties. Here are further some tips. You never know when you are going to need this advice, so better be ready than sorry.

Featured photo credit: pbs via pbs.twimg.com

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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