Life's Simplest Pleasures

Bask in Some of life's 30 Most Simple Pleasures

Learn how to enjoy what life has to offer for free!

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Sometimes it may seem like the only way you can find any enjoyment is if you have money to spend. Luckily, I was able to learn this is not always the case. Being a college student has allowed me the opportunity to enjoy what we sometimes refer to as the simple things in life while not having to break the bank at the same time. If you would like to enjoy life more without having to constantly spend money, here is a list of some of the best things that money cannot buy.

1. Taking your shoes off at the end of the day

2. Watching a sunrise or sunset

3. The smell of fresh air when you walk outside

4. Listening to your favorite song

5. Having your own dance party in your very own living room

6. Looking up and feeling the sunshine on your face

7. The smell of fresh flowers

8. Taking a nature hike

9. Hearing the sound of rain while going to sleep

10. Laying underneath a warm blanket on a crisp day

11. Seeing the leaves on trees change colors during the fall

12. Finding sea shells while walking on your favorite beach

13. Not being able to stop laughing

14. Seeing others around you happy and content

15. Giving or receiving compliments

16. Making someone else smile

17. Being able to sleep in on the weekends and not have to worry about an alarm clock

18. Calling your mom after a difficult day

19. The feeling of grass when walking outdoors barefoot

20. Driving with all your windows down on a beautiful day

21. Taking a relaxing bubble bath

22. Giving someone you love a hug

23. The feeling of waking up after a much needed nap in the afternoon

24. Doing a good deed for someone else

25. Climbing into your bed after just washing all of your sheets

26. Singing in the shower with no care in the world

27. The feeling after you just finished cleaning your living space

28. Seeing your pet excited when you walk in the front door

29. The feeling after finishing a long school or work project

30. Having family and friends who love you

Some of the items listed above may seem quite silly, but go ahead and take the time to show appreciation during or after experiencing various activities. Learning how to be more appreciative of everyday events can increase the overall value of your experiences and keep money in your wallet as well. Go ahead and begin basking in some of the cheapest and simplest pleasures that life has to offer!

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You're at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You're probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you're calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you're walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You're convinced you're ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You've already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you're an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school's name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I'm telling you right now, you're going to miss it all. Everything you've ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald's hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you've seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You're going to miss them more than anything. I'm telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You've got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life, it's truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it's the little things you're gonna miss the most. Don't take it for granted because soon, you'll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You've got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You're going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won't.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You've got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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6 Neopets Stories That Could Have Been Real Books

If I can still feel the pain after 15 years, it should have been a real book.

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As a young writer, I spent countless hours both reading and (mostly unsuccessfully) writing for The Neopian Times- a feature of Neopets.com that allowed young children to express their creativity through stories, comics, and articles. While I will absolutely not be sharing my own (few) published works to the greater public, there are a few stories that I think back to often and wonder what ever came of the authors.

1. "Sleeping Beauty"

Read it here!

My body image issues didn't begin until a couple years after I read this story, but the author tackles them very well. The protagonist is unable to see herself as beautiful, and it destroys her; it takes over her life. That's definitely something that young teens and tweens can relate to.

2. "My Vacation" (and others by jeanaet)

Read it here!

This author had a theme of writing stories about her own Neopets, and her stories were always quite entertaining to read. Her characters were always getting into exciting adventures with some emotional moments mixed in as well.

3. "Superficial"

Read it here!

One of the first series I came across, this story introduces Maybelle, who has generally always had good fortune in life, but also showcases the aspects of her life that are less than ideal (her distant relationship with her mother) and her struggle to make friends because of assumptions others make about her.

4. "There Is No Cost to Friendship"

Read it here!

This is one of the last series I remember reading. In my original review of it (on one of my Neopets pages for which the account has been deactivated) I mentioned that I constantly forgot I was reading a Neopets story when I was reading it. Some more great themes about assumptions and friendship!

5. "Playing the Part" (and others by precious_katuch14)

Read it here!

I had the hugest celebrity crush on Kat when I was in 5th-6th grade. I used to print her stories out and read them all the time, and even made a DeviantArt profile to have another connection to her. The story I was most obsessed with was "Playing the Part", a story featuring her own Neopets. I used to write my own versions of the story featuring my pets, and sometimes act the story out with my dolls.

Kat, I hope you're doing well these days.

6. "They'll Never Hear a Word We Say" (and others by sytra)

Read it here!

THIS STORY. Sytra is one of the best authors I have ever read work from, the only author who made me shed real tears over this website. This story in particular and its sequel, I felt such a strong connection to. I printed it out and even did a book report on it in seventh grade. The stories reminded me strongly of Lauren Myracle's "The Winnie Years" series, which I discovered around the same time.

"They'll Never Hear a Word We Say" ripped my soul apart and put it back together multiple times over, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sytra, I hope you're still writing things, and if you come across this, please inform me where I can purchase anything you've written professionally. As in the days of Neopets, I will read every single story.

Do you remember any of your favorite stories from Neopets?

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