Students, Stop Complaining

College IS Stressful, But That Doesn't Give Us The Right To Complain About Anything And Everything

I'm not suggesting that we stop talking about what's bothering us, but everything doesn't need to be a complaint.

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I get it. As cliché as this sounds, life isn't easy for college students. Our stress levels are usually high. We have moments of crisis as we try to balance our academics, social life, extracurriculars, and much more. Additionally, we have to deal with the many curve balls that life throws at us whether that be in the form of issues with our families, finances, or friendships. I've been there, and sometimes it feels like the world is against us.

Not only is it difficult dealing with all of these hardships, but finding a way to cope with them can be tough. One of the ways that a lot of us cope is to complain or vent about things that are bothering us. I know how good it feels to complain, and truthfully, it's a release that a lot of us need. Sometimes you need to express how you feel, and letting it out, as opposed to keeping it bottled up, is probably healthier.

While I don't have an issue with students who express what's bothering them, I do have a problem with students who use every minor discomfort in their lives as an opportunity to complain (as if the world is about to end).

Now, I could easily have made this article one that just bashes people who dramatically complain all the time, specifically about things that I believe to be trivial. I'm not going to do that because it would be counterproductive. Instead, I'm going to try a few things. Firstly, I'm going to explain why I think we, as college students, complain as much as we do. Secondly, I'm going to give some instances of what I consider to be trivial and overly dramatic complaints. Finally, I'm going to explain why I believe complaining so much is detrimental and offer a way to cut down on this.

When it comes to complaining, at least for college students, I think there are two reasons why we do it so much: connection and culture.

When I mention the idea of connection, I'm referring to a desire, by most people, to relate with one another. Wanting to connect doesn't mean that we strive for everyone to be our best friend, or that we want to talk to every person we come in contact with, but within certain situations, we want to be recognized. What easier way to connect with people than to complain about something? Anything can become a complaint, whether that be a class, a teacher, what they served at a dining hall, the way a chair squeaks, the way some kid looks, and so much more. It's super easy to complain, and that's why I think a lot of people do it in the context of conversations. Once you complain about something, anyone has the opportunity to pile onto your complaint with their own.

Now the ease of complaining and wanting to form connections with your fellow students is what I believe has led to a culture of complaining.

When it comes to culture, I'm talking about an environment, in this case on college campuses and social media platforms, like Twitter, where it has become common practice to complain frequently. Now, this may not seem like a big deal but think about the implications of complaining so much.

Firstly, by complaining so much, I believe that we blur the lines between what is and isn't a serious issue. In other words, by voicing our minor discomforts and complaining about them in an overly dramatic way, we begin to equate smaller problems with the same importance as a more serious one. For instance, here are some of the complaints that I've heard in the past month on campus. These should give you a pretty good understanding of what I mean by complaint about a minor issue that is overly exaggerated.

"Ugh, I have to do a lab report for my lab class, and I wanna kill myself."

"Wow, we have to do a citation at the end of our paper, like that's so extra."

"I can't believe our teacher emailed us the day of saying we don't have class anymore because she's sick. Like I could literally be laying in bed right now."

"This school is so boring, like there's nothing to do here. Who even has time to look for a club?"

"What the hell, that's not gonna be on the final? Why did we even learn that?"

"If the teacher is going to show up five minutes late, she might as well have not shown up. Like why give me hope of you not being here."

Some of these are absolutely ridiculous and hilarious when you say them out loud. Now, before anyone starts freaking out on me, I understand that saying stuff like this can be a joke. However, I've gotten to the point where complaining about every discomfort in your life is not funny anymore.

Not only do smaller issues get blown out of proportion, but I think that complaining about everything just brings in more negativity to an already rough college experience. I genuinely believe that whatever energy you give the world is the same energy you get back. Not only are you bringing negative energy upon yourself by complaining about everything, but you're projecting that negative energy towards those that are around you, too.

Now, it would be disingenuous to pretend like I have a fool-proof solution to this problem. The truth is, I don't. However, I've managed to diminish the frequency and exaggeration of my complaints based on something my grandfather taught me, and I figured I'd end the article with his advice.

His advice, plain and simple, is to think before you speak.

In other words, if you find yourself about to complain, stop for a second and think about what you're about to say. Consider if your complaint is about something serious or a knee jerk reaction to a minor discomfort. Think about if your complaint is something that can lead to a constructive conversation or just adds more negativity to everyone's life. By taking a moment to think, not only could you prevent yourself from complaining about something trivial, but you give yourself extra time to come up with a solution for whatever your problem might be.

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.

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If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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