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First Experiences (and All the Feels They Bring With Them)

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

On this day, in 1882, Thomas Edison created the first string of electric Christmas lights.

Although we all may not be creating our own inventions, we as humans experience new and different things constantly. As the holidays are upon us, many people may be encountering the season in a different fashion than ever before. Some may be spending the holidays without loved ones that had always been around in the past, some may be celebrating with new family members or loved ones, or some may not even be able to head home for the holidays. Whatever a person’s circumstances, experiencing them in a new and different light can be challenging, just as new experiences in general can be for anyone battling mental illness. 

In this time of the holidays many of us are off our normal track,

as we attend holiday parties, overload our bellies with delicious food, and indulge in all the other festivities that come with this time of year. This can be overwhelming for many people, and admittedly I am one to get easily overrun by this lack of routine in my life. However, as we head towards the new year, I encourage and challenge each and everyone one of us to be similar to Thomas Edison, and strive towards the empowerment, and take control of all of the “firsts” in our lives. 

I for one struggle with placing myself in uncomfortable and vulnerable situations when it comes to new experiences. However, these are often the opportunities that allow an individual to lead a wonderful, adventure filled, and inspiring life. Often with mental illness, one looks to find stability and a sense of routine, and I know I benefit from this. However, mental illness is not the entirety of a person’s identity, and for individuals that enjoy spontaneity and new experiences, one cannot let their battles and internal struggles take that way from them. Wear Your Label encourages everyone to feel, “all the feels”, and to know that this is OKAY. With new experiences, often a wave of emotions may come along for the ride, and this is a completely reasonable response. Don’t let this be a deciding factor in whether or not to pursue new things in life. 

I encourage you to take ahold of every new experience and emotion filled opportunity that comes your way.

Try new things, you may find a new hobby or passion that fills you with personal fascination. (I'm trying kickboxing in the new year!) Be uncomfortable and step outside of your comfort zone. Mental illness can often feel restrictive, but don’t let it hold you back from anything you wish to pursue in life. Accept last minute invitations, travel the world, listen to new music, read novels that you would never read, try physical challenges; the world is your oyster. Along your journey you may not only experience wonderful moments, but meet people who influence your life in sensational ways as well. Everyday we have the opportunity to take a step towards being the best possible version of ourselves. Sometimes we may take two steps backwards, accept this process with open arms. Progress is progress, don’t let your pace alter you from the direction you were destined to go. Allow yourself to try new experiences and firsts, as terrifying as they may be. 

May this holiday season, and the new year bring you new experiences of all sorts. Whether they teach you new lessons, ensue new passions, or simply allow you to strive towards being the best version of yourself. Enjoy it, and all the feels it brings with it.

Written by Campus Rep Teagan Pringle 
Edited by Executive Assistant, Addie Van Rijn 

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