There are some things in life that haunt you for years. Bad decisions, bad friends and bad experiences can all change the course of your life in ways you’d never expect. If you were to poll a group of young adults, you’d get a huge variety of responses regarding the worst things they’ve done, but putting those into categories might help you catch yourself before you fall into the same traps.
Hanging With the Wrong Crowd
Story after story is told of the young person who wants to be [insert adjective here] so she hangs around a particular crowd. Cool, funny, edgy, popular, hot – whatever, you can definitely get a rep from the people you hang with, but when your best friends are influencing you in ways you didn’t plan for, it’s time to quit the scene.
Not all influences are bad. New friends can motivate you to try new things and adventure out beyond your normal limits. But if those limits are the ones you hold dear, you’re in for a bit of trouble. Think about things that are meaningful to you. What’s black and white in your world? Drugs? Black. Helping others? White. Keep those colors clear in your mind because even the best of friends will start to make you see shades of grey and that’s when you’re heading for big trouble.
It’s so easy to be lazy and just do what you need to do to get by. But what happens when you finish the course that’s already laid out for you? There are plenty of things you can do with your life, but most of the really good ones are rewards for the people who push themselves and constantly seek a challenge. If you’re coasting through school and life waiting for something interesting to come along, you might be waiting a long time.
Laziness is also a habit. Once you stop trying or figure you don’t have to anymore, you’re behind the game. We all need time to relax and collect our thoughts, but if you’re avoiding classes you know to be “hard” or taking easy ones to boost your GPA artificially rather than taking something that would benefit you – underwater basketweaving versus physics, for example, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Crossing the Line
There is a line between right and wrong. Sometimes it gets pretty hazy, but when you look back on something a few years later, that line is suddenly much clearer. How many times already have you wished you could go back and change something or take back a certain action? Unfortunately, crossing the line gets easier each time you do it whether you are shoplifting or bullying.
If you want to live a life that makes you proud, catch yourself early when you start to become tempted by the dark side. Most often you’ll find yourself justifying something small. This is a dangerous way to thing because that bottle of nail polish you “forgot” to pay for might soon become things considerably more expensive. Even if you don’t get caught, you’re still very much in the wrong. The same is true of hurtful comments and the other nasty things in life.