Somewhere in the last quarter of 2016, I felt like I had wasted my entire year. I was heartbroken about certain issues. During my first semester exams, I couldn’t even concentrate. One time, I nearly gave up on reading anything for my exam, my heart wasn’t in it, I guess it was somewhere outside Nigeria. Anyway, I wrote about it and titled it Flashback to My Exam Experience this Semester. But I’m happy those days are past me. These are the lessons I learned in 2016.
1. Communication is key! It is vital! It is important! You need to communicate with people. Speak your mind (tactfully). Tell people what you need. Don’t be afraid. If you don’t like something, say it. If you feel down, speak to someone. If you like someone, say so. If you admire someone successful and would like to connect with them, walk up to them or connect with them on a social media platform and introduce yourself and tell them something nice like perhaps you admire them and they inspire you (but please do not be a stalker). No one will kill you, if you get snubbed, at least you tried.
2. Don’t be afraid to say No. Always think before you answer. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you’ll get back to them before giving them a definite answer, especially when your mind isn’t at rest. I made a lot of mistakes in 2016 because I gave answers on the spot. In the end, it was more tough withdrawing when I realized it wasn’t what I wanted.
3. Go on adventures. Take risks. Try things you’d love to try but are quite afraid or skeptical about. It was an adventure for me starting BlankPaperz. I wasn’t sure about investing my money in it, I wasn’t sure if it’d be successful. I wasn’t sure if people would even read anything or submit articles to BlankPaperz. I wasn’t sure if I’d quit out of frustration, daily maintenance and looking for new ideas to write about. There were days I was discouraged, days I was bored of course, but Anthony Alaribe always had something positive to tell me.
In 2016, I was also less shy about playing the guitar in front of people. I always felt I was terrible at it but this year, I let my guard down. I went on guitar adventures by not minding how terrible I was but by playing in front of people, accepting the praises and sitting at the feet of other better players to learn from my errors. I applied for competitions and contests I thought I wouldn’t have a chance in.
4. Finally but not the least (wow, I never realized I had many lessons o!) Challenges grow people. Don’t let circumstances make you whine about life and give you a terrible and negative perspective of life. In that last quarter, I decided to be positive, to try and take my mind off all the negativities, to forgive. It wasn’t easy, but I can say I tried. I found out that 2016 was one of my most memorable years. It wasn’t so bad at all; it wasn’t wasted. It was just too awesome but I was too blind to see, only focusing on the negatives.
My name is Mirabelle Morah. I’m a student of everything awesome, enlightening and socially impactful.