By PAMELA CARTY
College is a transitional time in a student’s life. No matter your age, background, or what stage of life you are in, college provides many opportunities for you to expand your mind, not only academically, but also through knowing yourself and becoming a better person. If you take time now to focus on improving yourself, by the time you finish college you will be more adept at handling setbacks, bosses, and your relationships.
Emotional maturity and emotional intelligence are expressions that describe your ability to understand and control your emotions. When you are faced with a problem or difficulty in life, you need to be able to cope and overcome obstacles. Your ability to do so is directly related to your level of maturity and level of emotional intelligence. Looking within yourself allows you to learn about your personal strengths and weaknesses.
Being flexible and being able to adapt to people and situations is one of the most important personality traits you can have. Life can be difficult and your ability to react positively to hard times is imperative. It is being able to accept that some days, things are not going to go your way. Flexibility is the difference between learning from life experiences and moving on or allowing the experiences to hold you back from living a happy life. Having a flexible personality allows you to be able to work and socialize with different personalities. It is being open and accepting of other people and will make your relationships more gratifying and pleasant.
Take responsibility for your own life and understand that your current circumstances are a result of the decisions you have made. Do not blame others when things do not go your way because you are in control of your life. Have good character and do the right thing even when no one is looking. Do it because it is right, not because you will be acknowledged and admired for doing so.
Responsibility is being accountable when you have made a mistake and you do your best to repair the error. Being responsible is acting out of reason rather than anger or vengeance and that will give you the confidence of living an honorable life.
Be non-judgmental even when you disagree with people. Do not criticize another person, face-to-face or on social media. You do not need to agree with or even like everyone you meet. Everyone has unenthusiastic sentiments from time to time, but you need to keep negative opinions to yourself.
It helps to always look for the good in other people even when it’s hard to find. When you are non-judgmental you can have higher quality relationships because your friends know they can come to you with personal information. They also know you will not ridicule them or broadcast their intimate details to others. This creates a safe environment for mutual communication, closer bonds, and long-lasting friendships.
Be confident. Believe in yourself and your dreams. Being confident is seeing every setback as an opportunity and being productive is looking for ways to actively solve problems.
Be gracious in accepting compliments and reciprocate when it’s appropriate. Do not brag about your achievements; being modest and humble is a true sign of confidence. You do not need external approval when you are secure with who you are.
Have integrity. Be dependable and keep your promises. Be honest with yourself and others and, most of all, have compassion for other people by putting yourself in their place in order to truly understand them. Try to be conscious of your thoughts, words, and actions in everything you do.
Do not take yourself too seriously. Have a sense of humor about yourself. Being able to laugh at your faults and letting others do the same shows great confidence and self-acceptance; it demonstrates that you know you are not perfect and that you are conscious of your imperfections.
Most of us fall short of these characteristics and that is fine. Understanding our emotional maturity helps us to understand ourselves better and also gives insight into areas that we can improve upon. Having integrity and a sense of humor and being humble, non-judgmental, confident, and flexible will take you far in life. It will make you an enjoyable person to be with and will make you an overall happier and more successful person.