College experiences lend lessons and reminders on when to quit

I hate to be a pessimist, but things can always get worse. I don’t care what’s going on, something worse could happen.

It’s actually great news. If things can always get worse, they can also always get better. You just have to be open to recognizing what better is. You have to want better.

Foregoing a long boring history of my last four years, I can wrap them up by saying that they were not at all what I was expecting. I am not where I thought I would be in many ways. Some of them better, some of them not. I look back to my freshman year, and I was an entirely different person. I am realizing that there is one solid thing I have learned through every twist and turn that has gotten me here, one major piece of advice that I can offer.

Sometimes, you have to quit.

Again, I sound like a pessimist. But that one little lesson can lead to many happier situations. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That’s true for more than study habits and workout routines. It’s true in the way we think, the way we live and our relationships.

There are some things you should never quit, obviously. Never quit living or wanting to live, for one thing; life is actually a really awesome thing and it’s always worth fighting for. Some things are more debatable.

I get a monster hangover if I drink too much Aldi wine. I should probably quit that since it’s really making things worse in my life. That’s easy. But what about the relationships I’ve had that I wanted so badly to work? They didn’t seem like they were worth quitting at the time. It took stepping back and realizing that I was continuing to give chances to people who had done nothing to deserve them. I wasn’t leaving room for things to get better until I quit trying to make those relationships work.

It’s OK to quit. There are times when walking away is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you don’t love it, it’s not worth fighting for. You can’t realize that unless you step back and look at the situation.

This advice simply doesn’t work if you let other people’s opinions influence the decision. There are a few things I do regret quitting on in the past, and nearly all of those occasions were heavily based on what other people were telling me.

I’ve done some pretty amazing things during my time at Bradley. I’m proud to say I’m a Brave. I’m proud of the things I said no to, and the things I walked away from, because they allowed me to find so many more opportunities. It wasn’t always easy, but if it had been, I probably wouldn’t be happy this destination at all.

Finally, because it’s my senior goodbye column, I have to say some thank you’s.  Thank you to the people who have picked me up and carried me when I needed it. Thank you to the people who convinced me to take the risks, to do the things that scared me.

Thank you to the people who made the last four years an adventure I’ll never forget.

Kristina is the voice editor. She is a senior public relations major from St. Louis, MO. Direct questions or other comments to kpuerto@mail.bradley.edu