J J Hanna
Five Things to Remember when Doing Something for the First Time
In the upcoming year, I am going to have a lot of things that will be “firsts” for me. Because of that, I think it might be valuable to create a mental checklist of things to remember as I’m experiencing all of these new things.
I do not have to be good at things the first time I try them. This is extremely important, as I have a tendency to give up on things when I don’t immediately do (at least) well. This is the wrong mentality, and as you do things again you will, inevitably get better. (This can be hard to believe when things take a long time to get better at, but as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Or, at least, practice makes better.) So as I have a lot of things that I will need to try, I’m going to remind myself to try things at least three times. If I still don’t like it after those three times, then I’ll move on and try something else.
It is important to get to know your surroundings. Knowing where you are and where you are going is one less stress to think about when you’re in a new place, so working on remembering different hallways or paths is an important factor to think about. It is very easy to get lost and turned around when you’re busy looking for a specific place, so take time (that isn’t rushed, where you’re not on a schedule) to explore your surroundings. Find the little nooks and crannies that make a place special or different. That way, you’ll always know a place you can hang out if you need to kill time in that building, and you’ll get lots of exercise wandering the new hallways!
Talk to people. This one is huge, as I have a tendency to seclude myself when I’m in a new place. I’d rather sit quietly and observe than go meet people, but this is not the best way to make friends. So, in new places, especially if you’re going to be there for a very long time (like I intend to do with college), it is imperative that you are outgoing and friendly. That way, as you get into more and more classes, you’ll find that you’ve already made friends and have at least one person you can talk to during dead space. Also, it will make those times when the teacher tells you to find a partner a lot less intimidating.
Be prepared for anything. Life loves to throw out lemons, especially when you’re in a new place and ready to tip over the stress waterfall and go straight into breakdown mode. Do not panic. Rather, carry around wet wipes, or extra pens and pencils, a jacket, different shoes, money, anything that might be on the "This Could be Necessary" list. That way, no matter what life decides to try to knock you out with, you’ll be ready. And while there will be days where you don’t need any of that stuff, that’s actually a positive, because that means things went according to plan. But it never hurts to be ready for anything.
Don’t forget to find the beauty in things. Often when experiencing hard life changes, it can be very easy to get rather hopeless or stressed out. So, in those moments when you just want to go home or hide from all of your responsibilities, grab your camera (or anything else that can take a picture) and go for a walk. While you walk, not only are you exercising (which releases endorphins that tell your body to feel happy), but you’re also getting out into the amazingly massive world, where nothing is ever exactly as it was. Because of this, you can take as many pictures of the same place or thing that you want, and they will all look different and be beautiful in their own way. Not to mention that looking at the world through a photographer’s eyes can remind you what you love about where you are.
These are things that I’m sure I’ll have to remember as time goes on, things that I’ll probably come back to multiple times. So, while I wrote this list and the accompanying explanations for myself, I figured you might find some value in it as well. If you can think of any other important things to remember or valuable insights, please share them in the comments!