So, it's that time of year again for college students when the semester has just ended and final grades are rolling in. Whether you've gotten your grades or are waiting on a few, here's something that we should all keep in mind.

Often times, there's a lot of stress placed upon grades being the route to happiness. We might think that a certain GPA and certain grades are the be-all, end-all of our futures. Frankly, it really does seem like that given our surroundings. To work out our feelings with this, we often hear that we just need a little change, maybe get out and shift our perspective a little. While advice like this holds merit, sometimes it takes something a little more concrete and a little less philosophical to really believe.

Here is that little reminder:

There was actually a study conducted for over 70 years on the nuances of happiness, and what they found might be of use to you and me. From 1938 to 2013, Harvard conducted a 75 year-long study on happiness led by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Robert Waldinger, and there are three conclusions that can be drawn from the entire experiment:

1. Happiness is achieved through close relationships.

2. Happiness is achieved through quality relationships.

3. Happiness is achieved through supportive, stable relationships.

Wow. Hm. I don't really see anything about grades in there, do you? Thank God there isn't, honestly. Based on the study, happiness is based largely upon the relationships that we foster with the people in our lives, and, while we're at it, with ourselves. It makes sense if you think about it: most of what we'll look back fondly upon is the time we spent doing things that make us happy (aka valuing the relationship with ourselves) and spending time with the people we love. When we have a support system there to help us through, then things become a little less of a chore to handle our self-believe goes up a notch.

So, this is an open invitation to kick back, relax, let your hair fly in the wind, and give yourself a break.

You did what you could with what you had, and you already know that there's always room for improvement. Try to not be down on yourself, really.

If you made someone happier, if you took care of others or yourself, if you made yourself healthier, then you had a worthwhile year, and there are no two ways about it.