College Students: Stop Complaining and Try This Instead

College Students: Stop Complaining and Try This Instead

We can't help it sometimes. But this (instead) would help our lives get so much better.

I sit here in my dorm room in the student center of my college campus. I sit here and I remember, I remember what I’ve been hearing.

Certain phrases about the same ideas keep tumbling out of people’s mouths. They tumble from so many people who are so different, but the messages are so similar.

They are complaints.

And the complaints are about central topics. Sitting here, I’ve got to thinking. Maybe some of these elements we (apparently) are so irritated about can be turned around; we can turn them around for areas to give us energy instead of places to make us frustrated.

Here are two of the most common complaints that could use a perspective shift:

1. Our Tiredness

Yes, college can mean a ton is happening and you hardly have the energy to keep up, let alone thrive. You have assignments due, a job to do, a meeting to attend, a campus event, a club to join, a mile to run, an internship to apply for, and a social life to somehow manage.

Sleep seems to often get pushed to the bottom of this list. And tiredness? Well, it almost becomes a “trophy” that we throw around as a complaint. “How are you?” “Oh good, just tired…” Sometimes, the “trophy” becomes a little too heavy, though, and we honestly wish we didn’t carry it. “I’m just so tired today…”

Well, reality is, the amount we sleep (like anything else in our life) actually is up to our own personal choice. Even if it is homework that’s keeping us up, we still could choose to sleep instead. Often, it’s not just homework that’s keeping us from shut-eye. Life and all that is meant by living is impetus to stay awake for it.

What if we, then, instead, choose to change our conversation? What if we focused on the reasons for our tiredness instead of its negative effects?

“How are you?” “Well, I didn’t get as much sleep as I needed, but you know I was able to have a solid conversation with my roommate, and that made it so worth it...”

We can choose to stop complaining about how much we have going on and how tired that makes us.
We can choose, instead, to focus on enjoying each aspect of the life that is keeping us from sleeping.
We can choose to focus on the happiness of living life as fully as we can instead of making life seem empty by focusing on the bad: the irritation of tiredness.

2. Other People

“Did you see what she did?” “Did you hear about what he said?” “Can you believe she actually would think that?”

College campuses mean college people: people with different values, views, and lifestyles than you may have.

Chances are, with all the variety, you have found some aspects of people that you absolutely love and wish you were more like.

But chances also are, with all the variety, you find aspects of people that drive you a little crazy and that you really don’t appreciate.

It’s easy to focus your words on pointing out these aspects that you don’t find as positive. It’s easy to criticize and complain about other people (especially when they hurt you or threaten your way of life or happiness).

Each one of us chooses our words, though.

What if we, instead, made a different choice?

What if we didn’t only point out the elements that irritate us about other people, but pointed out something we appreciate about them, too?

“She always has the smarty answer in class, but you know, I am thankful that she’s brought up some points that made the professor specifically talk about what’s going to be on the exam.”

We can choose to stop focusing on what we don’t like about other people who are different than us.
We can choose, instead, to talk about aspects of these people that are good.
And—maybe most importantly—we can choose, instead, to actually stop complaining about these people but talking to them.

We can stop complaining. We can change our conversations. And maybe—if we did this—we could change more.

The way we view our lives could start to change and be colored by more thankfulness.

They way we view others could start to change, and would could start appreciating and helping the people around us.

The choice is ours.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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8 Things You Learn When You're Related To A Drug Addict

1. No one is obligated to choose you.

Being the child, or family member of a drug addict can be hard but depending on how you look at it, it can also be a blessing in a very weird way. Here are eight things you learn about life from being the child or family member of a drug addict.

1. No one is obligated to choose you.

2. When people choose you, you know to cherish it.

3. Not everyone is going to understand your situation.

4. People have very skewed opinions about families of drug addicts.

5. People can change.

6. Not all people choose to change.

7. Being selfish is actually a lot of work.

8. Don't judge a book by its cover, or a person by their family members.

There are many things you learn about life, often sooner than most, when you're related or close to a drug addict. In my case, I have many members of my dad's family as well as my dad, who overdosed when I was young, who are addicted to drugs. Seeing people choose substance over blood at a young age is eyeopening, and hard to understand. As you get older and begin to understand the severity of the situation; life becomes clearer. You don't trust everyone you meet, you try to stay away from risky behavior, and family that chooses you becomes all the more important.

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