As a child, I was a creature of habit. A lover of routine. A slave to my comfort zones. Ask anyone who knows me at a personal level, and they’ll tell you. I was never the social butterfly; I was the bookworm. That all changed when I turned eighteen and moved away to college however, and though it sounds like a cliché, college was the place where my ‘growing up’ really happened.

       I don’t mean I’m wild and totally out of control now – it’s 7 PM on a Saturday and yet here I am eating a bowl of plain oatmeal – but little by little I’ve learned to push the limits of my own comfort zones. It may seem counterintuitive, but it was actually the stupid, “taking-things-way-too-far” kind of experiences the ones that made me grow. I actually still make stupid choices sometimes, but then again, this is my time to do so.

       All of us make mistakes while we’re young — and the good news is, we’re supposed to. We’re supposed to change our minds a million times. And then change them again. That’s how we learn what we really want. We’re supposed to waste our money (hello overpriced coffee I’m talking to you), and we’re supposed to spend too much. It’s how we learn to value our money. We’re supposed to pour our hearts out to everyone to later learn that we should only trust a few, and we’re supposed to wear our hearts on our sleeve and love too much. It’s what gives us a backbone.

       So chase after the boy who hurt you. You know, the one all of your friends hate. The one who broke your heart, but which every nerve in your body is telling you to chase after, to try again, to get him back. Down the road you will feel like an idiot for being so desperate and hopeless, but it’ll be worth it. You’ll learn (the hard way) how to demand respect for yourself, and you’ll learn how much hurt you are willing to take from someone before you decide to put yourself first.

       Follow your heart, even though there are going to be many times where you know it will be smarter to follow your head. But while you’re still young, always choose your heart. Make the stupid choice, take the road less travelled, do the reckless thing. It’s the most passionate way of living and the most exhilarating way to learn.

To read more from the author, click here

Published by Paola Padro Ocasio