As someone who has gone through the typical ups and downs of a college experience, it wasn’t always easy to stay positive. From my experience, I’ve identified five ways I believe students can help themselves stay positive during their time in school.
1. Find happiness in the little things.
You would be surprised how happy it can make you when someone does something so small for you. If you look at the little victories you have in life in an important and positive way, it can make you realize that your day might have sucked a little less. When someone goes out of the way to open their door for you, smile. When your favorite show is added on Netflix, take that little binge-worthy victory with a smile and watch an episode. When you’re too tired for an early morning class and your teacher doesn’t call on you, smile and grab a cup of coffee.
2. Do what you can to make others happy.
I find that I feel so much better when I know that the other people around me are happy. Don’t go out of your way to do everything for others and nothing for yourself, but do small things for people. Say hi to the workers in the dining hall by name and always thank them for helping you. If you see a friend struggling with an assignment or something they’re going through, take a little bit of time out and ask them if they’re okay. Talking someone through something might actually help you with whatever you’re going through. Do what you can do, big or small, that will help put a smile on someone’s face. It will put one on yours too.
3. Get your homework done in advance.
This probably seems like typical advice for a college student, but I’m looking at it a little differently. If you finish all your homework and have time to spare, that means you have time to relax. In your college years, there’s rarely a time you can feel relaxed, but if you get all or most of your work done, you won’t feel guilty about going out when you have an assignment due the next day, or binge watching that new show on Netflix. And, you’ll probably have a much better time doing whatever you do in your free time.
4. Find friends you can vent to and have fun with.
Through college, you might go through different friend groups and change who you’re close with. Just like your family, when you’re at school, you need people you can laugh with and go out with, but also people that you can really talk to. They don’t even have to be the same people, but these people are the ones that will keep you sane and happy.
5. Cut off the people that are emotionally draining.
You’re going to meet people that you think might be the best friends you ever had, but sometimes they put you through hell. Find the people that don’t do that, and keep them. Don’t associate yourself with people who make you feel stressed, people who only care about themselves or people that make you feel awful. Eliminate these people from your life.