Ways to Live Happier in College
posted by Michelle Duron
I have decided to embark on a new journey by learning gratitude and acceptance. I started writing down things I am truly grateful for, whether they were big or small. Although I am still a work-in-progress, this process has greatly reduced my stress and I have started feeling more optimistic while attending college.
Here are a few things I have discovered.
Independence: If no one wants to go with you somewhere because of busy schedules, lack of money, etc., go to that new restaurant or museum by yourself. Shop on your own. Be your own best friend because you are still learning who you are.
Gratitude: Enjoy the little things in life whether it’s family, love, friendship, your home, etc. Count your blessings rather than what's negative in your life. This becomes an instant mood shifter (See below!) for the pessimistic.
Mood Shifters: Listen to music, read a book, do your chores, clean, listen to a venting friend, volunteer, go for a jog, explore the city, etc. These things will help you feel better about your life. Even writing out your goals and things you were able to accomplish will make you feel great.
Don’t jump to conclusions: We have all done it. Assume the worst. However, this will not contribute to happiness. Instead, it will bring stress and fear. Turn to mood shifters such as staying busy.
Frugality: Saving money is always a good idea. Learn how to say NO because the time to pay those bills will ALWAYS come. When you focus on paying off your necessities, you will feel at ease. Less is more. Start saving. Later you can travel and splurge once in a while.
Accept yourself: It's okay to be you. Be kind to others and towards yourself. It’s okay to be weird. Be unique. Embrace your individuality. Accept your past mistakes and learn from them. Then you will be able to love yourself because your mind will be at peace.
Forgive: The art of letting go of the past is difficult only if you allow it to be. This means not dwelling on issues that are out of your control. The only control that you have is being positive, productive, and not having self-pity.
Spend time with loved ones: Life is short so make sure you spend time with the people who are always there for you, such as family and friends.
Help the community: Volunteer at events such as walks for cancer or at a homeless shelter. Not only are you helping the needy, but this will help you not to be self-centered and put others first.
Learn how to prioritize: Start your day by waking up early for work or school. Leave on time and arrive early to places. Instantly complete your to-do list and complete your homework or any work related-assignments because once it’s done you will be free. It will put your mind at ease and you will be much more organized regarding your agenda.
This past summer I started journaling a lot and realized that in order for me to start living a healthier and happier life, I needed to cut old habits.
I decided it was best for me to leave my retail job because I wasn’t getting enough sleep and was too exhausted to study. Also, I needed to start saving up in order to pay school off, as well as deal with my personal debt.
I stayed with a part-time job that required less hours, however I continued dedicating time to my studies and spending less time on procrastination. Instead of debating whether I should get something done; I just delve straight into the task and take action.
Part of my list of things to do included getting rid of toxic friends, as well habits that did not serve me well. Surround yourself with people that will empower you and be there for you, and not bring you down, as this can cause a great deal of unnecessary stress in life. Eliminating toxicity has helped me become a better person. I feel a lot better now than I did when I was very stressed. So far, I have seen improvement. You can too!