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By: Chloe Hong

Life as a college student is often a time of confusion, self-doubt, transformation, and faking it ‘til you make it. Ironically, in a world full of quick connections, people seem to feel more isolated now than ever before.

With this in mind, I was curious to ask my fellow CSUF students, “What’s the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?”

Would there be any recurring themes? A common thread that strung these people together?

“Whether it’s at work or at a club, you should be yourself. I don’t want to fit myself into any stereotypes or categories.” -Brandon Dugas

“Everyone walks a different path. I have always been bombarded with opinions on things I should change about myself…This ultimately taught me to value my voice above the voices of others… Their path is theirs, not mine.” -Alex Hernandez

“Everything in life is fluid. The metaphor I use is driving. It might seem scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but in those moments, I know I’m in control of what path I take and what choices I make. That’s what it feels like to trust yourself. In life, whenever you make a decision, the world isn’t going to end. It’s just going to change.” -Melanie Nguyen

“Everything happens for a reason. Life is too short for regrets. No matter what decisions we make in life, it will all work out in some way, shape, or form. Be brave and make confident decisions!” -Layla Elefante

“Know your value. Life is going to have more doors open for you than closed, and it might be tempting to settle, but do not settle. If you know what you’re worth then you can say no confidently, and know something better is coming.” -Jessica Nordell

“It’s not my job to fix other people. I want to be there for others as much as I can, but it is also important that I am there for myself as well. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to support your friends and family, and know that loving them and being present for them is good enough!” -Marissa Mandoki

“Even if you fail, you have to keep trying. Failing something is a first attempt in learning something new. It’s all a part of the process and a natural part of success.” -Jayden Tedtaotao


I was pleasantly surprised by the optimism of the responses, all of them touching on themes of self-love and confidence–– having the confidence to be yourself and keep trying despite failure and loving yourself enough to value your voice and know your worth. We all intrinsically know it; self-love and confidence are two of the most important things a person can master. They have the power to change lives, open doors and set us up for success and happiness.

Despite that, everyone struggles to make this a reality. While this can be disheartening, understanding that everyone is on a similar journey to self-acceptance can also be validating.