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Jun 23 2016
by Rudo Ellen Kazembe

9 Things To Let Go Before You Start College

By Rudo Ellen Kazembe - Jun 23 2016
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In high school, you might have held onto toxic relationships, taken demeaning labels that people have given you to heart and acquired unhealthy habits. During the summertime period, it is essential to give yourself time to reflect, and to let go of whatever might have been hindering you from fully developing yourself in the past.

The next four years in college will give you an opportunity to reinvent yourself, make new friendships, focus on your positive aspects and not settling for anything that might have a negative effect on you or your self-esteem. Such a major shift in perspective during the summer holiday might seem overwhelming, but the baby steps below are a good start.

1. Obsession with Perfectionism

Throughout high school you might have felt constant pressure to be well rounded in your academics and your social life. That pressure might have come from your peers, teachers or even parents. It consists of, but is not limited to, the perfect GPA score, taking up as many activities as possible and striving to be popular among your peers. To add onto that pressure, your peers lives might have appeared to be perfect on popular social networking sites, which might not have been the reality. Aspiring to measure up to standards that are unrealistic will only lead to insecurities.

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2. Holding Onto Grudges

In the past, someone that you care about, whether it’s your ex, friend, parent or sibling might have hurt you. Holding onto resentment for past wrongs, will not only hurt you but it will also lead to excessive emotional baggage. Finding the courage to let go of any resentment by reflecting on the situation that occurred in the past and choosing to forgive the person when you are ready, will lead to greater well-being and healthier relationships.

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3. Fake Friendships

There might be fake friends that have publicly humiliated you, spread malicious gossip about you, gone out of their way to constantly point out your mistakes to belittle you and used you for their own selfish reasons. Holding onto these toxic relationships will not only drain you emotionally but it will also affect your self-esteem. Letting go of these friendships will enable to build healthier relationships with true friends that actually care about you. It’s better to have a few friends who help you to grow, than to have lot of fake friends that aim to bring you down.

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4. Bad Sleeping Habits

Pulling all-nighters in in order to finish off a movie on Netflix (or to ace a test), then grabbing a coffee the next morning, might have seemed ideal in high school; however, following a bad sleeping schedule is more harmful than what you might have thought. According to the WebMD, sleep deprivation can lead to decreased performance, memory impairment and poor quality of life. Ensuring that you get enough sleep will not only improve your grades in college but it will also make you less dependent on energy beverages such as coffee.

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5. Procrastination

It might have been easier top put off your assignments or tasks to the very last minute. Finding ways to cope with procrastination over summer will help with becoming more self-confident and it will reduce stress. Setting realistic goals for yourself and finding the motivation to start your tasks earlier is beneficial to your wellbeing.

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6. Reluctance to Try Out New Things

Your high school experience might have given you impressions about particular sports, clubs or extracurricular activities. Do not allow those impressions to hinder you from actively involving yourself in unfamiliar situations in college. You might discover that the activity, which you might have seen previously in negative light, is actually enjoyable.

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7. Regrets

You might have done something wrong in the past, which has left you feeling persistently remorseful. Mentally battering yourself about the past will hold you back. No one is perfect. Embrace your past mistakes, learn from them and choose to move forward without regrets. This will help you to grow and to open yourself up to new experiences.

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8. On-and-Off Relationships

You might have had to break up with your high school sweetheart whom you thought was "The One." Seek closure with your ex, leave the good and bad memories behind and avoid the vicious cycle of constantly reigniting the old flame and breaking up again. Move on and open up yourself to a new possibility of a healthier and better relationship in the future.

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9. People’s Negative Opinion About Yourself

It’s impossible to please every single person. You might have found yourself seeking approval from your family or friends throughout your life. Don’t allow their opinions to define who you are. You know yourself more than anyone else, don’t allow their expectations to chart your destiny or limit your horizons.

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Don’t ever think that it is too late to reinvent yourself. College is the time that will enable you to form healthy friendships, step out of your comfort zone, possibly finding a significant other and to reach your fullest potential. Holding onto bad experiences will limit you from doing so. It might take time to let go of what had occurred in the past, but when you make the decision to do so, the results will benefit you more than you can ever imagine.

Lead Image Credit : Mwarianesu Makufa via Instagram (@anesu_makufa) 

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Rudo Ellen Kazembe - Lake Forest College

Rudo Ellen Kazembe is a staff Politics Writer. She is currently studying at Lake Forest College. She wrote for the national newspaper in Zimbabwe when she was in high school. She has had some of her work republished in Teen Vogue. She is an Editor and staff writer for her College newspaper. You can follow her on Instagram (@ellen_oxox).

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