Now that summer is officially over (and since I haven’t had a post in months), I reflected back and realized I learned a lot this past season. Now while some of it is things we have told to us repeatedly, I really learned the value of the repetitive lessons we always hear from the wiser.

1.) Wake up.

I’ve definitely been known to sleep in, 2PM sometimes being equivalent to 8AM in my tired brain. With my post Europe jet leg not leaving my body for over a week, I started waking up at 6AM everyday. And you know what? It was awesome. I had felt a disconnect from members of my family and with hectic work schedules, a walk at 6:30 in the morning finally gave us time to talk like friends again. After the morning workouts, I was feeling more productive creatively. I was writing and reading more, pastimes I often complained I didn’t do enough. 

While this next line was in an awfully directed and laughable scary movie, it stuck with me. “I like being awake before everybody else wakes up, the best ideas haven’t been taken yet.” Being up early really does have that feeling to it. 

2.) Get off your phone.

I was amazed while in Italy how many people I saw looking at their phones while walking past the beauty of Florence. I always knew our generation had a problem with technology, I just hadn’t realized how bad it had become until I saw a student take a picture of a piece of artwork and then walk away examining it on her phone. It was right in front of her… and she missed it. So many people took for granted the sites in front of us just because they needed a new Instagram photo. 

Whatever that text message is, I really do SWEAR it can wait. 

3.) Give your heart to places, not people.

Of course one day there will be a person you want to do just that with. Until then, it can wait. I spent too much of my previous years trying to give my heart to people who didn’t really deserve it and was missing out on what else it should be given to. After traveling throughout Italy and being detached from any emotions in America, this finally got knocked into my head. I wouldn’t have had the same experience I did if only half of my heart was with me. I learned the importance of being on your own. When people say travel while you’re young and it’s just you, they really do mean it.

4.) Don’t let anybody discount your dreams.

Art history is my major, and that’s what makes me happy. I’ve had plenty of people ask my why in the world I would choose that, or tell me how much money I’m not going to make. I’ve learned to shrug my shoulders because they don’t get it. I probably don’t get their career choices either, but I’m not going to discount it if it’s something they love.

5.) Who gives a shit what others are doing.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t participate in gossip. But I’ve been thinking, why do I care? If it makes them happy, let em do it without scrutiny. 

6.) “If you want to be a legend, go be one.”

Simple as that.

7.) Be educated.

Learn everything you can, it makes you a better person. 

8.) These are the good old days.

I’ve heard that from my mom repeatedly this summer and it’s overwhelmingly true. I spend too much time wishing for things in my future and too much time dwelling over things I wish were still around. Learning to live in the present has changed my personality for the better. Upon losing my uncle this summer, I realized how much time I had been taking for granted. You can’t get the present back, stop wishing it away.

And now that I’ve stated the eight most important things I learned this summer and sound like somebody’s “Quotes” board on Pinterest, I’ll get off my soapbox. 

Try a few of these things, I promise you’ll like it.

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