Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Sevin Pakbaz considers the idea of chances, and as an Aries, comes to a harsh conclusion.

A big part of growing up is realising that although you can’t control how others treat you, you can control how you want to be treated. You can set boundaries and expectations in your relationships, whether they are platonic or romantic ones. 

This past year I have observed that people undeservingly, and continuously, tend to get away with their actions, and this really makes me think about the concept of chances. Chances; meaning how many opportunities someone can get before they’re booted from your life.

It’s not like you can get a rain-check on your heart.

Giving someone a chance is ultimately a big move. You’re putting your trust in them to right their wrongs, and to prove they have changed. It’s not like you can get a rain-check on your heart. People need consequences for their actions, and if that means that they are no longer in your life, it’s their loss. Ask yourself: how many times will you allow the same person to let you down?

Like money, chances don’t grow on trees. Chances should be thought through carefully, and not given out without effort and care.

You need to learn the art of letting go when it is time to do so. Say adios to toxic people, and realise that your happiness is the priority. Don’t stay around to be continuously ignored, made to feel like second-choice, and disrespected.

You should never beg for anything from anyone. Never beg for love, commitment, time, affection or attention. If a friend or partner isn’t giving you these willingly and consistently, it may be time to reconsider the nature of your relationship. No one is worth a million chances. Really.  

Excessive forgiveness can encourage unhealthy behaviour, where instead of realising that a person has exhausted their chances with you, you constantly make excuses and give them another chance only for them to repeat their behaviour; giving repetitive chances only enables poor behaviour.

Do not fall back into the arms of people who hurt you and let you down. Don’t melt in front of people who promise to make things right again, but their actions prove otherwise.  

Demand from the universe the kind of love you deserve, and push through the idea that you won’t find what you’re looking for. Do not settle. Know your worth, and how you want to be treated.  

Memories make up our past, but do not let them drag you down and pressure you to hold onto false hope. What is the past is past, and the future holds better things. Trust in this. Demand the easy kind of friendship, where effort is mutual and nothing is a chore. Demand the kind of relationship where respect is a given, and doesn’t need to be communicated.

You have to realise an end to something is always a beginning. A curse can be turned into a blessing. Don’t let anything weigh you down.

Keep your head up and hold onto the chances you once used to give out so frequently. There shouldn’t be an easy pass to breaking your trust. Realise the power of chances and keep them by your side as a surprise weapon. It’s your power move, no one can influence this.

Never be cruel to anybody of course, because karma is a bitch, but always put yourself first, and untangle yourself from people that do not seem to do so repeatedly. Don’t let anyone fool you twice, because in the end you do have the upper hand.

It’s 2018, and toxic people are like needles in strawberries - once you get rid of them, you can enjoy the rest of the punnet.

Sevin Pakbaz is a second-year Journalism/Law student, who loves to blow her money on expensive vegan waffles. Her strange obsession with true crime documentaries and star signs keeps her occupied when she should be catching up on uni.