1. Say yes to things you normally wouldn't
I wrote a blog post all about this very concept back in October, but, in short, I learned how important it is to say yes to things in 2016. I am very much an introvert and like my nights in with a cup of tea and a movie going, but sometimes you just need to leave your comfort zone and push yourself to do something you might not be as enthused about. I also realized (although it seems obvious now) that the more I said yes to, the less I wanted to be in my comfort zone and the more I continued to push myself to try new things in general because I was more aware of how fun and exciting it could be.
2. Stay creatively fulfilled
This is something I definitely learned the hard way this past year. For a lot of the year I was so busy with work and especially school that I neglected my more creative hobbies that bring me so much joy such as photography, playing my guitar, and writing for pleasure. I realized that a lot of my happiness comes from feeling creatively fulfilled and I need to make a concerted effort to make time for those hobbies on a regular basis even if it is for a short period of time.
3. Exercise is always the best medicine
In 2016 I made more of an effort to get moving whenever I was feeling down or just a bit blah. I've always been an active person, however it has become more difficult ever since I started college to get motivated to go to the gym or just be active in general. I also really got into yoga in 2016, and the best way I found to make time for doing yoga was basically pushing myself to do a quick 30 minute flow whenever I found myself either procrastinating or just generally being lazy. Even if I don't enjoy doing exercise in the moment, I do find that I feel so much better afterwards and I always feel like it was worth it.
4. It's never the "right time"
Especially being in the final year of college with so many big life changes in the near future it is easy to say no to things because it isn't "the right time". While there is some truth to this, I learned that sometimes you just need to do something because it makes you happy. The "right time" for anything just doesn't exist, because there is no such thing as perfect stability. There are choices I have made this past year that most people wouldn't make because it is such an unstable time (albeit an exciting kind of instability), but I made those decisions any way and I don't regret them one bit.
5. Time management is everything
Starting my fourth and final year of college definitely showed me that time management is everything. While I am taking fewer classes this year, I have the added responsibility of completing my senior thesis, which is a totally independent project and you have to hold yourself accountable. I learned, often the hard way, that it is crucial to work bit by bit instead of all at once. This is something I will continue to work on in the new year because while its easy in the moment to put off school work, it ends up biting you in the long run.