Happiness Is A Choice, You've Just Got To Make It

Happiness Is A Choice, You've Just Got To Make It

It starts with you.
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I think happiness is a choice.

When life comes at you with different challenges, I think it’s at these times when you learn the most about yourself. You learn to push past the struggles because the happiness on the other side of the situation is waiting for you.

It may be really easy and really convenient to blame the others or the rest of the world for your unhappiness. It might even seem like you had no part in creating the problem. Maybe it helps you cope with it or even pretend that it’s not happening.

But truthfully, I think the only thing or person that can control your happiness is you.

At times, I have felt myself let things affect me very greatly, even to the point of occupying and consuming every aspect of my life. I’ve seen friends take life less seriously and choose happiness over stress.

Many times, it’s this attitude that ultimately helps them conquer their problems and attain a new level of positivity. It wasn’t the process of blaming others or the world for your issues, but rather a “hey, this isn’t making me happy, looks like I have to fix this” type of thinking.

While being consumed in my own thoughts, not necessarily fully acknowledging my ability to fix my problems, I can see that there are many ways of dealing with problems. I’ve witnessed that putting your own happiness first is what life is all about. It may be a difficult path, but the reward is always worth it.

This thought occurred to me when I recently watched an interview with Tiffany Haddish on “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah. Tiffany Haddish is a comedian who has grown up in the foster care system, has dealt with being broke and homeless, etc. Trevor asked Haddish how she had overcome all the adversities in her life.

She, being the true comedian she is, said the answer was simple. The thing she always tries to do in every situation in her life is have a good time and laugh. Regardless of the obstacle, she learned that choosing happiness and rising above the challenge helped her become stronger. It helped her achieve her dreams of being a comedian and spreading laughter everywhere she went.

I really was captivated by this message and how simple it was. It was clear to me that, in order to be happy, you have to choose it first. It’s not selfish or wrong; rather, it’s a way of conquering life.

Life is far too short to be so concerned and clouded by thoughts/ situations of stress. I do believe that tackling problems first starts with your attitude. How do you choose to face your problems?

What do you hope to achieve from doing so? When asked what I want to be in the future, my response is clear. I want to be happy, no matter what bumps in the road I face. I want to deal with my problems while being happy. I think that’s the way to achieve ultimate bliss and appreciate life for what it is.

Cover Image Credit: @stephtaylorjackson

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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