Welcome back to another year of college, Duhawks. Whether it’s your first year on campus or you’re entering your final year as a Loras student like myself, the excitement of starting a new school year never really goes away. And after being across the pond for close to six months, I’m ready for all of the memories my senior year will bring. Yes, that includes all of the classes, all the essays, writing two thesis essays, and having my plate constantly full with a million and one different activities. It’s pretty common with a full schedule like mine to get stressed out, frustrated and even upset with everything coming at you all at once, especially since we’re only week three into the semester. However, with three years of this whole “college” thing under my belt, I have a bit of advice for students young and old: do not let the little things impede on your happiness.
“I have a paper due in a week and I really don’t want to write it,” “My computer keeps crashing and losing Internet and it’s annoying,” “I’d rather be sleeping than sitting in class right now,” and “If I had a significant other, I would feel loved” are many phrases I hear walking around campus every day. Over time, I’ve realized that the things we’re complaining about aren’t really all that major. Papers have to be written, computers can be fixed, classes will help you learn, and your significant other will come around when the time is right. There are so many things to be happy about, why should we let the small things damper our everyday lives?
When I was abroad, I learned that Spaniards are some of the most relaxed, and happiest, people you will ever meet. Why? Well, they’re more social than a majority of us Americans. They take time out of their day to share meals with each other, to rest and take time for themselves, to socialize with their friends and family while having a beer in a bar. Now, I’m not saying we all have to start speaking Spanish and take siestas every afternoon (even though siestas are magical, let me tell you). What I am saying, however, is that Spanish people are generally happier because they take the time to do the things they love to do. In this case, it’s connecting with their families and friends and surrounding themselves with positive energy, either when they’re by themselves or with others.
I can tell you first-hand that being happy, or searching for happiness, is not the easiest thing to do. It’s one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my 21-years of life. But we are Duhawks supporting Duhawks. And Duhawks should cheer others up when they’re down or need someone to talk to. We have so much to be grateful for and have blessings lots of people in this world only dream of having.
If you take anything away from this column, read this: don’t let the silly little things steal your happiness. Take just five minutes out of your day to think about everything you’re grateful for. I know you all have five minutes. This kind of thing can’t be changed overnight, but if we all made an effort to cease complaining and start thanking, imagine where we’ll be a month from now. Spread positivity, Duhawks.