Don't Let The Struggles Of Life Bring You Down

Don't Let The Struggles Of Life Bring You Down

We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it.
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Life’s hard. There’s no denying that. There are highs and lows, ups and downs, but that’s what makes life exciting and worthwhile. In the past month, I’ve experienced both elation and devastation. It’s through this devastation, though, that what makes you appreciate and cherish those moments of elation. You realize that life brings those hard times unexpectedly, which is why you need to live life to the fullest – you never know what tomorrow will bring.

When most people meet me, I try to be happy and positive. But what most people don’t know is that I’ve overcome struggles, experienced hardships, and sadness. Things that have made me realize that the small things, those tiny inconveniences that we so often let ruin our day, are incredibly insignificant. We often tell ourselves that these things don’t matter, that we won’t let the little things get to us, but far too often we fall back into that pattern. However, when you encounter those hardships, it becomes easier and easier to overcome those issues.

When I was just starting middle school, my sister suffered a catastrophic brain injury that left her in the hospital for nearly 100 days. She had to relearn everything, from walking to talking, even eating. She was on a feeding tube for 5 years. My family watched as time and time again she came close to death, and every time she overcame.

More than once my family watched, knowing that the outcome was beyond our control and out of our hands. But now, coming up on 10 years later, we are still a united front. The joy of seeing her improvements and all the struggles she overcame made our family incredibly close and ensured that we appreciate every single moment, never taking a second for granted.

Life throws things at us that sometimes don’t make sense, that seem unfair and confusing. But no matter how hard those things are, life goes on. You have to keep going. Even though it may seem like you can’t go on, you have to try. What I’ve learned through my own experiences is that you have to take every struggle and hardship and use it to motivate you, to make a difference.

What my family experienced was terrible, but we didn’t let it break us. We allowed it to make us closer, to appreciate every day and to try to make a difference in this world. There’s no denying that I didn’t ask time and time again why did this happen. But it did happen. And unfortunately, there’s no way to change that.

It’s hard when at times you see people freak out over minuscule things. But in the grand scheme of things, those tiny things, which at the time may stink, don’t actually matter.

In life, the true things that matter are being happy, being surrounded by the people you love, and leaving a positive impact on the world. That is what is important in this world.

I encourage everyone to try to not sweat the small stuff, to keep positivity in their lives even when their world seems to be falling apart because that’s life. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it. We only have one life, so it’s important to make the most of it.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Sessions

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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How To Have Fun When You're A Party Of One

Being a very social person can often make being alone difficult, but it doesn't have to be.

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Many people who consider themselves "people persons," allow their need for human interaction to hinder their chances of having fun experiences and often think that it's impossible to have fun by yourself... but on the contrary, you can have a ton of fun by yourself.

1. Be comfortable with who you are first.

The number one thing, before you can be self-reliant and be content with having a good time on your own, is being able to accept yourself for it. Don't think of being alone sometimes as a bad thing, and be able to cut the ties from social interaction to be able to do things by yourself without the social support of others. You don't need your friends to be by your side all day every day. Friends are great to have in life, but their presence doesn't define who you are. You're still your own person.

2. Take a stroll when nobody is around.

Once I went skateboarding at 5:30 in the morning on New Year's Day and there was literally no one outside and watched the sunrise. It was the greatest sense of freedom I've ever had. So hopefully you can find something like that if you choose to go out early in the morning before everyone wakes up for a nice stroll or jog around town by yourself. It'll really make you feel at peace with everything and is a great stress reliever. (except I wouldn't recommend going out at night because that's scary)

3. Go to the gym alone.

Workout out by yourself can be a great self-motivator because when you go to the gym alone, you are the only one that can motivate yourself to do all the workouts that you set to do and push yourself to the next level. It's also great for getting your brain to be more focused on the task at hand, without the distraction of another person being there.

4. Eat alone.

Go out to a nice restaurant in the city, sit outside and watch the cars go by in the glare of the moonlight on a nice Saturday evening...or just go to the dining hall. Either way is fine, whichever you prefer. Eating alone may seem pretty boring to most everybody, but its all in what you put into it. Just go ahead and people watch. Consider it your downtime to recollect your mind and your thoughts and use it to de-stress everything. It's not as bad as some people make it out to be. (also no one is gonna watch you eat or see what you choose to eat if your self-conscious about that sort of thing, which some people are...there's no judging unless you judge yourself)

5. Be more positive.

Should've said this earlier, but the key to having fun being alone is about keeping a positive mindset through all of this. If you're able to say to yourself that you will keep an open-mindset about things and try to have fun then you will. It's all about trying in this scenario. Two people can go do something by themselves and one will leave unhappy and one will leave happy because of the mental choices they made. If you continue telling yourself that you "wish your friends were here" or anything like that then you're missing the point. You have to live more in the moment, then you'll be happy and content with life on your own.

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