Change ta vie dès aujourd'hui. Ne te soucis pas du futur, agis maintenant, sans délais.

Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay.

Simone de Beauvoir sums this one up quite well. Probably one of the most influential and iconic stars of the French literary canon, being an existentialist, she tended to contemplate life and discuss its 'true meaning' perhaps a bit too much. Her life changed drastically, all the time. Irresolute and uncertain... she may have never become the woman she ended up being was it not for the influence of Jean-Paul Sartre. Her writing developing in parallel with his. Ideal.

Can you plan, though, for this success and happiness? Do you merely fall upon it? Luck, chance, the unforeseen future.

I believe that a prerequisite to being happy is to be yourself. That was in fact a new year's resolution of mine last year... "be yourself and be happy." Achieved. Just through being me, pursuing what I love and appreciate, I have made some amazing new friends upon starting at university... people that I will surely stay close with for many years to come. 

Simone de Beauvoir suggests a certain level of control that we have over our lives. It is up to us to make the best of everything we have at our fingertips. We must act in a way that helps to shape the future, as we wish it to be - her existentialism shining brightly through. However, I would say that it's more than that too. When life throws you a couple of curveballs, reaction and coping is key. Not everything is in our complete control. 

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I hope that you continue to throw your heart and soul into absolutely everything that crosses your path. I wish that you meet more influential people, see the world and don't let anything stop you from pursuing your dream. Don't stop at second, impossible is nothing. Don't stop proving them wrong. Remain bursting with tenacity and determination, carry it with you and spread it around. Smile more. Relax more. Take new friends for a coffee more. 

Remember that everything happens for a reason, despite the reason perhaps not always being quite in view. Trust the process. Open up more. Be there for your sister, your mum, when she needs you; be there. Think about your family, albeit slightly dysfunctional, be grateful that they love you and would do anything for you. 

The world is yours. Your oyster. Do what you love and don't justify it to anyone. Lose yourself at a music festival, share your secrets, speak confidently to new people. Be thankful for everyone that has played an important role so far, and look forward to throwing everything back up in the air, as life changes, progresses forward. Don't forget to keep the old ones - they are crucial. You are lucky, in so many ways. 

Work hard and go far. Run fast, take care of yourself and make memories that will stay with you forever. Make them proud in everything you do. Remember the good times, but also the tough. Learn from them. Make mistakes - they aren't irrevocable. 

Remember where you come from. What you stand for. Don't let that be shaken.

Make an impact. 

Be happy, but be more than that. Make others happy as well.