• Danielle Lee Tschirhart

A Decade of Influence:10 Lessons from the 2010s

The only thing worse than making mistakes is not learning from them. Below are ten lessons I've learned over the last decade that will hopefully help ya out a wee bit.

//1// Don’t let fear stop you from doing big things

When I was applying to colleges, it was tempting to let fear overcome and keep me from moving too far from home. What if I get homesick? What if I can't afford to come home? I was mostly looking at schools in California and Chicago and for some reason I chose cold and snowy over warm and sunny...God's plan. But what I can say for sure, is I didn't choose out of fear.

//2// You won’t have time to foster EVERY relationship, so focus on the ones that will outlive high school/college

As a relational person, this was super hard for me. I needed waaaaaaay more than 24 hours in a day. Fun fact: I once calculated the hours it would take to go to all my classes, do all my homework, work, and sleep and it was more than 24 hours.

//3// Do everything you can to stay out of debt

On that note, do everything you can to not take out student loans or at least take out the smallest ones possible. I worked 30+ hours/week and was taking 18 credit hours my first two years of college. It was tough and I was mad at my mom for not cosigning loans at the time (sorry, mom!), but now I couldn't be more grateful that we don't have to pay those suckers off.

//4// What happens was meant to happen

I still suck at this one, but that doesn't make it less true. The point is, stop worrying because what is meant to happen will happen...or else it wouldn't happen (philosophical thought of the day there for ya). I try to practice this by not sweating the small stuff and gradually I hope to be able to simply do what I can do and be okay with whatever happens.Who's with me?

//5// Let it go

Naturally, this would follow. Once you turn in a paper/test/project or finish an interview, etc... let. it. go. There are exactly zero things you can do about it at that point, therefore you’re just wasting your time and energy worrying about it. I've gotten *slightly* better at this.

//6// Anything worth doing won’t be easy

Do big things + don't let little things (or sometimes big things) get in your way. One way to help with this is to know your "why." Then, when you're walking through the thick of it, your "why" will often keep you going. Last winter I heard someone say he was at a crossroads of doing something easy that he knew he could do and doing something that would be messy, hard and a little impossible. He encouraged us to always choose the thing you can't do by yourself-- do the thing you can only do with God. Do. Big. Things.

//7// Only believe, like, 40% of what you hear

Words get twisted and people are often misunderstood...don't believe everything you hear. That's all.

//8// You don't have to have your life all sorted at 18

I was one of the lucky few who actually knew what they wanted to study in college. With that said, I've been out of college for two years and for two years I have been thinking about other ways I can use my passions. It's 1000% okay to not know what you want to do because it can change as often as you'd like. No one (hopefully) is actually asking you to sign your life away to one career when you're 18...or 24.

//9// Most people aren't trying to hurt you

This is huge. We're so often hurt by what others say or do, but honestly-- they probably didn't mean anything by it. So I have two thoughts for you.

1) If you care about that relationship, talk to that person and clear the air.


2) In any case, laugh it off and just assume it's a joke. When I started doing this, it changed my life and I became a whole lot happier.

//10// The sun will rise again

As the famous Victor Hugo said in Les Miserables, "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise." If you know the story, you know how inspirational that quote really is. I've hung pretty tightly onto this quote in the last six months because sometimes, the only thing to get you through the darkest night is the promise that the sun will rise.

What's the biggest lesson you've learned in the last decade?