Emotional dependency: The Clingy Partner- Is it normal? 

Emotional dependency: The Clingy Partner- Is it normal?

Picture from: lovethispic.com

Hello all,

We have all known someone who is maybe way too “needy,” or “clingy,” in relationships, or heck, maybe we have been that person! We may judge them because we do not know why they behave this way; why they cannot be more independent and focus more on themselves.We question why their life revolves around someone else, why they seem hopeless without them.

Dependency, or being dependent on someone can be a very healthy and normal part of development. When we are young we depend on others to provide us with nourishment, emotional support, and even material things. As we grow older we typically stray away from this dependence and we develop a sense of autonomy and independence. It becomes healthy and expected to be able to for the most part take care of ourselves. We should no longer need high levels of approval or emotional fulfillment from others. Problems arise when we grow emotionally dependent on someone and base our worth on their perception of us. There are many types of dependency, but for this post we will focus on emotional dependency. Emotional dependency is most often studied or observed in women, although of course, this is a universal phenomenon.

Emotional dependency is when a person allows someone else (usually a significant other or someone close to them) to affect their emotions and their happiness may depend on what the other feels about them, or expresses to them. This can be seen as a type of co-dependence.

Taken from: (http://www.empowher.com/mental-health/content/defining-emotional-dependency-and-top-five-ways-become-more-emotionally-indepe)

Some early signs of dependency:

  • A need for approval from someone else
  • Prioritizing the other’s needs and desires
  • Feeling worry or anxiety when we are alone or not in the presence of someone in particular

Developing dependency may contribute to both normal and abnormal personality development (Morgan & Clark, 2010). It can create changes in:

  • Motivation: we may begin to feel changes in motivation and may lack other supportive relationships
  • Cognition: it may change the way we feel about ourselves because we may see ourselves as incapable or ineffective in contrast to others.
  • Affect: we may begin to feel anxiety or worry when we are not around those who provide us with support and emotional reassurance
  • Behavior: The need to always seek approval and reassurance from that one person or persons may change the way we behave. Ex: we may begin to cater to a certain person or persons, or change our lifestyles in order to seek approval
  • The Self: It can affect our levels of self-esteem or self-worth

Dependency can also affect those around us:

  • Emotional dependency can alienate others around us because we may be too preoccupied with fulfilling the needs of others.
  • We may begin to distance ourselves from those whom we believe do not understand us or are “Diagnosing “ us.
  • Dependency may lead to other mental health problems like depression, which may affect those close to us (Petruccelli, 2014)

How to recognize someone who may be using emotional or psychological manipulation tactics (Gugliandolo et al., 2015):

  • Making you feel guilty about things
  • Making you feel like you are disappointing them
  • Finding ways to shame you
  • Isolating you
  • Personal attacks (emotional or at times physical)
  • Love withdrawal

*These tactics can at times mold and change the way we feel about our selves or our abilities and may leave you feeling incompetent. This may also increase your feelings of dependence by creating the need for approval or assurance.

*Emotional dependency is very commonly seen in relationships where physical abuse is present. One partner is emotionally dependent on the other and the abuser may feed off this dependency and gain control often leading to violence or manipulation (Petruccelli, 2014).

How to become more emotionally independent:

  • Recognize the early signs of emotional dependency
  • Learn your self-worth: know how important your needs are and your worth when you are alone
  • Know that you have ultimate control over your own actions, feelings, and emotions
  • Prioritize your needs and do not allow your actions to revolve around other’s needs or expectations
  • Do not be afraid to seek help!

Some info found at:empowher.com

Why this post?

In past relationships I have always been quick to “feel” in love. I go out of my way maybe too quickly and truly immerse myself in the role of the partner. I do too much, I give too much, and I lose so much! I did not know that these patterns of behaviors could often lead to emotional dependency. I would feel anxious when my partner was not there. I would worry that I was not doing what I was supposed to do in the relationship, and when the relationship ended I would just feel used and confused. It was not until later that I would realize that I had given up so much control over me that my partners knew how to keep me doing what they needed. I was so dependent on their approval and their emotional reassurance.

We may all know people like this; maybe you have been in this situation yourself. Emotional dependence may be more common than we think, and checking for signs of it can greatly help.

As always, thank you for reading and I hope that you have enjoyed this post. Please feel free to comment, provide suggestions, or share. I appreciate your continued support.

Elenathinkslife

More References

Gugliandolo, M., Costa, S., Cuzzocrea, F., & Larcan, R. (2015). Trait Emotional Intelligence as Mediator Between Psychological Control and Behaviour Problems. Journal Of Child & Family Studies24(8), 2290-2300. doi:10.1007/s10826-014-0032-3

Morgan, T. A., & Clark, L. A. (2010). Passive-Submissive and Active-Emotional Trait Dependency: Evidence for a Two-Factor Model. Journal Of Personality78(4), 1325-1352. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00652.x

Petruccelli, F., Diotaiuti, P., Verrastro, V., Petruccelli, I., Federico, R., Martinotti, G., & … Janiri, L. (2014). Affective Dependence and Aggression: An Exploratory Study. Biomed Research International20141-11. doi:10.1155/2014/805469

The silent sadness: Postpartum depression

The silent sadness: Postpartum depression

The beginning stages of my postpartum depression

As some of you have read in my previous posts, I have been very upfront about my struggles with postpartum depression. Although I had what most people would assume a happy life and relationship, I found myself lost, confused, ashamed, and alone. I was happy to be a mother, yes, but I was not happy to be one all day, or everyday. From the moment I woke up to the moment I managed to get some sleep I found myself questioning my ability to do many things. I woke up happy and sadly I was exhausted to keep up that front all day. My baby was my joy… but I still was not happy. What was wrong with me?! I was supposed to born with maternal instincts that would help me be the best mom I could be… but I did not feel them. No one asked; noticed, or questioned, but I knew it was not who I was.

The silence was so loud: No solace in solitude

I have always been very sensitive to sounds, lights, and smells, but the peaceful quiet of my solitude was comforting. This quickly changed after I became a mother and suffered through my postpartum depression. My silence was filled with cries, and not just from my newborn. Even when I managed to get her to sleep, my mind created so much noise that my new silence was so chaotic. I became nervous about a lot of things; not being able to clean the house, not being able to finish my graduate school work, not being able to take a long bath, or being able to have a decent meal. The silence became so scary because I knew it would not last. My identity became defined by how good I was as a mother and partner, and so I muted my needs and cries for help. When my home became silent for that short period, my mind began to scream. I felt trapped, I felt suffocated, and I felt alone.

Help in information

I could not recognize myself anymore, and did as most people with many questions do; I craved information. At that time I was working to finish my Masters in psychology and decided to do some credible research using credible sources. I researched my symptoms and found so many articles on postpartum depression. BINGO!!! I FOUND IT!! It had a name, it had a face… it was me! I read over 30 articles and read many stories. I found comfort in their success, and I found relief in the process. Despite this I was still not brave enough to come clean. I felt too dirty with negative thoughts that I did not want to taint anyone’s perspective of the good and perfect mother they thought I was. I decided to write my thesis paper on postpartum depression and found myself slowly in the process.

Things I did to discover my future after postpartum depression

This I want to be a disclaimer: I still feel the effects of postpartum depression although I have gotten better. I found that there are things that I have to constantly do to remind myself that I am stronger than my current state.

  • I began adopting healthier ways to continue my journey
    • I was doing so well in school and focused on my higher goals
    • I quit the job that was causing me so much extra stress
    • I spent more time with my daughter and began fall in love with all the good she showed me about myself.
    • I gave myself permission: I gave myself permission to feel sad; overwhelmed, guilty, happy, scared… etc. When I allowed myself to feel, I also allowed myself to heal.
  • I chose to be more honest
    • Hiding your depression does not make it go away, It simply makes it a very hard secret to keep.
    • You cannot blame others for feeling alone if you have kept them in the dark about your true state.
    • I try to be honest about my journey whenever I am asked. There is no shame in working through a less than desirable mental state.

Some of you have contacted me regarding my mental health posts. Many of you guys, like myself have found support in hearing stories that sound all too familiar. I wanted to once again visit this topic because I truly believe that although depression may have different names, the raw emotions we feel can all have common effects.

Why this post? Again?

This weekend I took a trip with some great people. I sat by the beach and realized that so much has happened in my life in two years. I was surrounded with great company and so much noise. They knew my story, and they knew my journey. I heard so much laughter, so much joy, and so much happiness. I had to keep reminding myself that depression may always live in me, but I choose to focus on how far I have gone. No one questioned how good of a mom I was, or how good of a partner I was, so why should I? Postpartum depression and other forms of depression can have a way at eating at our pride and our strengths, but pretending it does not exist makes our silence so loud and chaotic.

– As always, thank you for reading and I hope that you can share your story with someone close to you, or that you can reach out to others whom you may feel need that extra courage. I welcome any suggestions, comments, or stories, and I truly appreciate those who have decided to follow my blog.

-Elenathinkslife

 

Relationships and the Social Media blindfold

Relationships and the Social Media blindfold

The reality of things is that social media is not always reality, and it often adds a blindfold that prevents us from seeing how good WE have it. #relationshipgoals

Last night I was having a drink with some friends. We all began discussing life’s topics like careers, kids, relationships… you know the subjects that come up when you are in trusting company. The three of us all had a very different type of relationship: a divorced strong woman with children who has jumped back into dating, a young educated woman dating a man but not thinking yet about marriage, and a mom of one living with her child’s dad but not married. I guess if we had not known better we would have sworn that we all had different experiences and that maybe the other one might not understand our relationships or the struggles that come with it, but we found ourselves saying “ oh my goodness, me too!” way too many times. Maybe we often times look at others’ lives and we decide that we should keep our problems or concerns to ourselves when it comes to relationships. We decide to only share or show the good side of it all but during our conversation I learned this…

  • All relationships are hard and take a lot of work even though some make it seem so easy.

After talking about things with others we realize how common these problems may be and that our relationship is nothing but normal.

    • For example: complaining about unequal chores in the home, men leaving their clothes everywhere, having to take care of the children and our partner even after working hard elsewhere, not being validated for what we do, feeling loss of romance or spark in our relationships, feeling like the love is one-sided or not equally shown.
    • Some of these things may make us feel like our relationship is not comparable to others and that maybe there is something that must not be working. Maybe it is us?!

When people decide to keep everything behind closed doors it is easy to assume couples are perfect.

  • We do not only compare ourselves to others, but we may find ourselves comparing our relationship to other people. This brings me to my next point… Social media can be an illusion and only a dimension of reality.

I will say this again: Social media can be an illusion and only a dimension of reality.

What do I mean by that? Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your feed only to see pictures or videos of couples? Maybe it is people you know, or celebrities, or complete strangers, and you find yourself desiring their life? Maybe their relationship looks so perfect, it looks so nice, and it looks so ideal. We may often even create a false image of our own and we may begin to find that our own relationship is lacking in comparison. “Why doesn’t he/she do this for me?” “I wish he/she did this for me?” We see tags like #relationshipgoals, #squadgoals etc., and our mind begins to wander.

My friends this can be poison to the mind, because the reality of things is… social media is not reality.

I found a perfect example while I was on YouTube today. It was a video; which I will link below, that gave viewers an insight into what really happened behind the scenes of really wonderful viral photos on social media. Some were of couples, some were of just people and places, but what stuck out at me the most is that this “behind the scenes” reality is what we often forget. We forget that maybe before that couple you envy on social media took their amazing loving photo some of the following may have happened:

  • They argued like most couples do.
  • They probably could not decide on how the picture should look.
  • Maybe one of them was forced to pose for this photo.
  • Maybe they are not right for each other but decide to push through for likes or because of other life variables (children, financial stability, fear, routine etc.)
  • Maybe this picture is the only thing that is convincing them and others that their relationship is ideal and worth it.

So why did I post this? Why did I bother to talk about a conversation I had with a group of girlfriends that found hope and solace in venting about their men and relationships? Well because I want others to realize that looking onto others for comparison is not healthy, especially in relationships. We cannot live with the burden of keeping things unspoken for fear of looking like that crazy couple that should not be together. Problems, disagreements, and arguments can be so normal in relationships, but learning to seek comfort in trusting friends can help.

Talking of course may also be a way of figuring out if what you are feeling regarding your relationship is normal, or if it simply a reminder that those red flags that are popping out in your relationship may be worth a second glance.

As always thank you all for reading. I highly appreciate your responses and suggestions. I know that some of you follow me for the science articles and I do enjoy doing them greatly as well. Thanks for allowing me to open up conversation about things that interest me and hopefully interest you as well.

-Elenathinkslife.

 

Here is the link to the video! Enjoy

15 truths behind photos on social media

 

Why putting your career on hold should not mean losing your goals.

Putting your career on hold should not mean losing your goals.

What am I referring to you may ask? Many people assume that when we are adults we must take on a career and stick to it. They may think that taking a break or quitting this career means defeat. Well it does not! I wanted to share with you how putting your career on hold may not always be a bad thing. You may never know what types of goals you discover that may lead to a completely different path in life.

My career journey at a standstill?

I was just reminded today of the many loans I took out to achieve my diplomas and certificates. But what I am doing with them?!!! Four years at a private university and two Bachelor degrees later I knew I was nowhere near done. I headed on my journey towards my masters and again knew that would not be enough. Another thing that would not be enough… MONEY! Why is college so expensive? Why do we need knowledge so expansive?

During my graduate school journey I found out I was pregnant, and to no surprise… my life and my goals shifted. At the time I knew that I would have to wait at least a year before my priorities where in line with my original goals. I wanted to work in the field of psychology… primarily research. I wanted to get my PhD and eventually create a brand for myself. Instead I found myself in a depressive state; supporting and helping create a brand and a life for my boyfriend, my life partner. I quit my retail job and focused on school and on my new baby. It was not easy to let go of my income, to let go of my independence but I knew I had to put my career on hold… but never did I want to put my GOALS on hold. There is a difference.

Putting my career on hold while still working on my goals:

  • My boyfriend and child's father decided that he wanted to go into business on his own, but he did not know where to begin.
  • I shifted my energy and resources into helping him build his brand and his business- Looking for licenses, insurances, marketing strategies etc. To be honest I found my own priorities lost in this process.
  • I however eventually realized one day while looking at my Masters certificate that came in the mail months later that helping his career goals did not make my goals any less important.
  • My goals where to provide for myself and my family while achieving optimal health and happiness.- These have always been my ultimate goals and have not changed.
  • I had the goal of using my degrees to help people and to expand my own knowledge.
  • When I was young I had the goal to use my knowledge to empower people and to build a community of leaders and learners!
  • My goal has always been to question things I find new, while expanding on ideas I know can work for many.

*While I have to put my career on hold for a few years until I feel ready and my family is ready, I never want people to think that putting your dream job on a slight hold is the same as not working on oneself or personal goals. That should NEVER be forfeited.

 

How to work on your goals while still being present and supportive to others

  • Work on your overall life goals (being healthy, being financially stable, being positive, working on self care.) Learn to budget the income in your household. Read articles to keep updated and informed in your field, attend seminars, start a healthier living regimen, learn a new skill!!!
  • Example: If your goal is to be a teacher, but at the moment you cannot commit to a full time job then volunteer or find ways to continue to practice your craft so that you may be ready for the workforce one day!
  • My goal is to use psychology to help people who maybe are unaware of the power of their own minds and their potential! I do this by freely doing research and by creating this blog that has became my escape!!
  • Never stop learning!! Do not put the expansion of knowledge on hold! Study your craft and perfect your craft…

I wanted to write this blog to maybe inspire new moms or people who have recently decided to take a break from some part of their life. We blame ourselves for so much and apply so much pressure that may lead to unwanted failure or self-sabotage! I also wanted to reach out to those parents who have maybe decided to focus on their growing kids for a while and whose goals seem to be secondary to everything else. WORK ON YOURSELF EVEN IF THAT IS NOT YOUR PAYING JOB! You never truly know if this break may have been the best thing you could have done.

One day when you are ready to go back to what ever it was you wanted to be, you will realize you were never that far from being just that!!!

As always thank you for reading and I hope that you found this post interesting or helpful. Please leave any comments or suggestions and like this post if you enjoyed

-Elenathinkslife.

Is it time for speech therapy?

What is this blog post about? – Language and speech milestones and why I decided to seek help.

Speech therapy does not make us or our child less intelligent or capable. It does not make us bad parents.

Like many parents out there I constantly wonder if I am doing the right thing with my child. I wonder if I am providing the right environment for them to grow. I take her to get her yearly checkups and make sure I feed her the right food. I however struggled to refrain from comparing my child to other kids, especially kids that were around the same age and were doing things that maybe my child was not doing. My daughter was a late walker, she started walking at about 14.5 months of age and people would always ask “she is not walking yet?” It did not sound so much as a question as it did a judgment, but I was not worried. She learned to use the spoon and fork and feed herself at a very early age. She was a little over one when she began to feed herself and even try to put on her own shoes. She was close to a year and half when she began to pick her clothes and dress herself. So yes in some areas she was “advanced.” She began to say words like; mama, papa, and sign that she wanted to eat and that she wanted more and that she was all done at about 10.5 months. I was so happy with her progress. I began to notice however that close to 2 years she was not using many words and was not acquiring any new words. This did worry me because I read all too much about what was “normal.”

Some stats on speech and language

Note* Speech may refer to simply being able to form sounds, while language refers to the comprehension and production of words.

  • The developmental stages can be tricky to follow, because they range so much in just a few months.
  • Between the ages of about 4-6 months most children are able to make simple sounds like “ma” “pa”, but maybe won’t show actual language until close to the age of one (average of 2 words)
  • Children will acquire about 20-100 words between 12-18 months. I know this is a huge range of words, but you can find the average somewhere in between.
  • By the age of 2, children should know an average of 200 words and may begin to use three word phrases. They will also be more likely to be able to repeat more complex words and phrases.

http://firstyears.org/miles/chart.htm

Her speech:

My daughter has always been expressive; she has been social, she has been curious. She was so eager to learn how to do things for herself so I was not concerned at first when I did not hear her speak much. I however began to notice that she would become frustrated when she needed something, and she would resort to scream and physically guide me in order to get me to where she wanted me to go. This became so frustrating for the both of us and her dad because I knew she knew how to say some words. I began to ask people around me and they told me not to worry because she was still little. I however was not happy with being passive.

How I knew we needed help

  • She had maybe about 10 words by the age of 2 but she did not use them very much, or in combination
  • She resorted to screaming instead of asking for what she wanted.
  • She did not make an effort to repeat sounds or words that I told her.
  • She was not acquiring any new words.
  • When compared to the average child her age, she was very delayed in speech acquisition and language.

Why I chose speech therapy

  • My background is in psychology and in Spanish language, so I was aware that my child did not meet the developmental norm in speech or language.
  • Early intervention and education is key in order to assure that children perform well in other future tasks such as; reading, writing, and overall academic performance.
  • Many times children learn differently from people who are not their parent’s or caregivers.
    • *Have you ever tried to get your child to do something, only to have them refuse, but then you see them do it when someone else asks!!!!
  • My daughter is almost 2.5 and her lack of language has manifested in physical actions such as; pushing, grabbing me by the arm to take her to what she wants, only gesturing, and some tantrums when she grows frustrated.
  • Speech therapists will provide parents and caregivers with tools to help our child learn to talk.
  • Speech therapy may also help children become better at socializing and emotional expression.

How evaluation works

  • You must first contact an agency in your area that is responsible for early childhood intervention. They may also help you rule out other diagnoses such as autism.
  • If your child is over the age of 3 you may need to contact your school district
  • Be completely honest and candid about your child’s development- They need to be able to assess what level your child is currently in.
  • A service provider will come to your home to help assess whether your child meets the requirements for service- there may be a second provider that may assess other areas of development.
  • You will be set up with a vendor that will set up meetings or lessons with both your child and you or a caregiver.

Final thoughts and our Start

My child has met the requirements for early intervention and will begin her speech therapy. It took me some time to let go of my doubts and just seek help. There is nothing wrong with admitting that your child or you need assistance. She will love to have someone come play and teach her. I will enjoy learning how to better help her development!! If you have any concerns or questions about any of your child’s milestones do not be afraid to seek help despite what others around you may say.

As always thank you for reading this week’s post. I would love to keep you guys updated about this journey we are about to embark on and hope that some of you will share your story.

Here is another resource if you would like to read more!

Rowe, M.L. (2012). A longitudinal Investigation of the Role of Quantity and Quality of Child-Directed Speech in Vocabulary Development, Child Development, 83(5), 1762-1774. Doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01805.x

Growing up low-income

Growing up low-income

Growing up low-income is like living on a budget 100% of the time. No money is considered extra money, and very little money is considered money for savings.

When I was young I never knew we were low –income or what other people would refer to as “basically poor” or “broke”. We were broke maybe, but not broken. My father was the primary breadwinner and made less than 25,000 a year and supported 8 children and a loving wife. Like many traditional Hispanic families my mother stayed home and cared for the kids. We were nine siblings, most of which were not born here and did not know the language. My parents and all nine of us siblings were living in a two-bedroom trailer home in our first stop in America. We shared a bed; come to think of it, I never had my own bed until later in my teens, and I never had my own room until I was 21 years old. Sharing was not something we grew up learning out of manners; we learned it out of necessity. Although I did not know how little money we had I definitely grew up knowing a few things:

What I knew 

  1. You never ask for presents because you know your parents cannot afford them. This includes going to the store and asking for things you do not absolutely need.
  2. Although you do not know the value of money yet; you realize money is not available to everyone… so be grateful for what you get.
  3. You never complain about hand-me-downs… even if they are not your “style.”
  4. Family trips are not much a vacation when you know you cannot afford the extra things like; souvenirs, a hotel, restaurants, amusement parks, or even a car that will not break down in the middle of your trip.
  5. Christmas and holidays are stressful on everyone. Your parents do not have enough money to buy that many gifts, or throw that many celebrations, and Santa Claus does not gift equally.

Although I grew up in the 90’s my parents still owned a black and white TV that was so small that it was not much enjoyable. I did not go to the movies when I was little, or fast-food restaurants, or on field trips unless the school gave us some sort of prize or coupon. I do not relate these stories to get pity, but to share how living low-income changed the way I now live my life. These are the ways that living on a permanent budget changed my choices and colored my perspectives.

What I learned and what stuck with me:

  1. For the longest time I did not know what the true value of money was. I assumed that what you got paid was equivalent to what you were worth.My siblings and I worked in the agricultural fields picking oranges, lemons, cherries, grapes… you name it. We were young but we knew it did not pay well. Money was measured by what we produced, and not by how valuable we were to the employer. My dad thought us to be grateful, but this made us complacent- not always in a good way. I now know that my worth is not measurable in money… but I deserve to be paid fairly because I am worth it. 
  1. I became frugal by necessity: This meant; finding the best deals, not spending extra money when I did not have to; but this also made me constantly afraid that money would run out, or that I would never have enough. This heightened the stress surrounding money and it was hard to change this feeling of constant fear of lacking.
  2. People will treat you different if they know that you do not have the money that those around you have, and for a while this made me afraid to ask for help. It made me too proud and at times kept me from seeking higher opportunities for fear of looking like “one of those people who use the system.” It made me feel less deserving.
  3. It made me question my plans for my future family. I reconsidered the idea of having a large family. I did not want to have a large family and not be able to provide them with enough opportunities that were dependent on money. I questioned; How would they go to college, how would go on trips; how would I fulfill their dreams?
  4. Growing up low-income does not mean that you need to stay low-income. Everyone’s version of success is different, but staying in the low-income bracket does not have to be a cycle. I now know that money can be earned in ways that were not imagined when I was growing up.

They say money does not buy happiness, but not having money definitely is not appealing either. Financial stability is what many people would love to have, but I am thankful that I learned what it was like to not have it. Heck… I still don’t have it; but I’m working for it. I do not know how my parents did it, but they did it. We grew up safe, and we grew up strong. We grew up thankful, and we grew up part of lower social economic ladder… but ladders are meant for climbing!!!

Thank you all again for taking the time to read this post. I know it is not research based like others on my blog, but it definitely is something worth sharing. As always, please leave your comments, suggestions, or questions.

Elenathinkslife

Common mistakes made in College 

Common mistakes made in College

These may not be the types of college mistakes that come to your mind…. but hang in there 

I started my undergraduate years full of fears but mostly full of excitement. I could not wait to start my journey in a new place, although it was only an hour away from home. Quickly I realized that this journey was full of so many choices; what to major in, what classes to take, and most importantly… how am I going to afford this (YIKES). It is true when people told me that it would go by so fast, so quick, and that I would soon be left with a diploma and that the rest was really up to me! Looking back at those years I can truly say they were the four best years of my life, but they were also the most confusing. Now at almost 27 years old and more than five years later I realized and wish I did things a lot differently when I was in college. I would not say I have regrets, but I definitely made some mistakes along the way. Here are my top mistakes I made while in college…

The mistakes I made in College

1. Thinking that I knew everything about my field of study and that it would be easy:

I always knew I wanted to study psychology and the Spanish language. I had big dreams of getting my degree then getting a Masters and eventually getting my Doctorate degree. I did not however realize until halfway through my journey that it takes a lot of money, and support. I also did not realize, and no one told me that it would be so hard to get a good paying job with simply a Bachelors degree in my field. This was a reality check! And with this said it is crucial to have a end plan!! Do not wait till graduation day to start thinking about your next step: because trust me your walk across that stage will become the most scariest one instead of the most proud one if you have no real plans. 

2. Not joining more clubs or student activities: I felt confused many times while in College. I felt that students around me were not like me. They had money, they had manners I did not; and they even believed in things that I could not relate to. This made me feel very defeated at times and so I focused on other social aspects of college that added to my experience, but not my resume. I also wish I got to know those professors whom I admired so much. They would have been a great asset to my life and my career path.

3. Not involving myself in more volunteering or internships. If you are like me and you have done some college or planned your career, you have now realized that you can have a degree but most employers want to know that you KNOW how to use it too. You can be book smart… but what is written on paper does not always reflect talent or skills in the field. I knew so much, I wrote great papers, I could talk your ear off about psychology, but I did not put it into practice. I limited my abilities by not seeking higher opportunities. I settled for things that were not even in my field of study, simply because they were easier to achieve.

4. GETTING MORE STUDENT LOANS THAN I NEEDED! – This one is probably the most common! I went to a four-year private Christian college and after learning about my expenses I freaked out! I took out loans to cover expenses because it was hard for me to have a full-time job while taking 18 unit semesters! But I definitely wish I knew how to better manage my income. Counselors told me that some student loans were not bad… but the truth is, any debt is bad… especially if it keeps growing with no end in near!

5. Being in a relationship that did not add to my goals. This one was a hard one for me to admit. It was a blow to my ego to admit that all those years invested in a relationship only left me with a break-up text at the start of my senior year in College, and years of emotional pain and healing after. I was so focused while in college to build a future for that person and myself and I became blinded and it derailed my priorities. I chose to help build up his dreams while at times sabotaging my own. I did not want to hang out with friends because he NEEDED me. Well that is what I thought. I wanted to be Miss Fix It. I learned that someone who does not add to your goals is not an asset or necessity in your life.

Being in college was an amazing journey overall. I met some great friends who have been in my life ever since and I am blessed. When I started college I was very young. I had so many goals for myself but often not enough confidence. I received excellent grades and knew my potential, but I did not take initiative. I settled in my relationship, I settled in my jobs, I settled in my self-worth. I did not realize that I needed to work for my future CAREER and not just for a future job. But like they say, everything seems obvious in hindsight.

I truly hope that some of these tips will help those of you just starting college or thinking about embarking on a journey similar to mine. As always, thank you for reading and I welcome any suggestions and comments. Elenathinkslife