You Deserve To Take The Time To Be Happy

You Deserve To Take The Time To Be Happy

Smiling is important.

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When school gets tough or life starts to get in the way, it becomes harder and harder to see the world from outside the hole that you sometimes feel trapped in. You forget about asking people to hang out, and you focus on getting through day to day, sometimes so stuck in the groove, that you forget that the outside world is moving around you. College can feel that way. You become trapped in this bubble where classes become your identity, your lifeline, and the only thing that can keep you going. You spend numerous hours in the library and forget about the fact that people are living life outside the walls and windows of your own little world inside campus. It's crazy to feel that way. To have a norm, but feels so robotic sometimes. It feels like each day is going to class, hitting the library, exercising at the gym, and falling asleep at night.

My advice is to not let yourself become complacent. Do not let the "schedule" of a schedule get to your life.

Take time to enjoy the things you love. Wear an outfit you feel confident in, take a shopping trip, treat yourself to a coffee or hot chocolate, or go eat fast food late at night if you get the craving. Sometimes you have to "let go" before you can "pop" a little bit of the bubble we can all feel trapped in.

Recently, I have been making lists. Of course, I have lists that consist of all the academics and school work I need to complete with due dates, but more importantly, is a list of things I want to do this month, people I want to connect with, and little things I can try to boost my mood and step away from the bubble for an hour or two.

If you're not a visual person like me, you don't have to write all these things down. But it is something to consider as you go through your academic career. Try not to get lost amongst the books at the library and attempt to surround yourself with some people or things that make you smile.

Having a healthy balance of both will improve your academics and performance. It is important to practice being healthy in all ways but intelligence. The brain can only work so hard before even it needs a break.

Laugh a little. Think about what makes you happy and do it. Treat yourself. Create a healthy balance between fun and work. Work hard and play hard. Set goals and find ways to achieve them.

You don't deserve to go through anything without a smile.

"No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change." -Barbara DeAngelis

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim, and end of human existence." -Aristotle

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Some Of Us Need Suicidal Thoughts To Fuel Our Fight To Stay Alive

You're walking down a pier and you hope someone pulls you back to the sand.

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I have suicidal thoughts but I don't want to die. It's just like swimming underwater but coming back up for air. To be completely honest, I have attempted suicide, and I don't feel relieved or anything like that. I feel like it was a cry for help that people chose to ignore.

Many people say that suicide is selfish, but it isn't.

Like I said in an earlier article about Kate Spade, I described suicide as, "Some are too far down a path that doesn't allow you to turn around. I believe that everyone that suffers from depression is in a line, this line is headed towards a sea and you can't look up or around you because there is a heavy force weighing down your head. You are walking and walking until you finally feel your feet hitting a pier and you can either jump and end it all or you can hope to God the person behind you wraps their arms around you and brings you back. Kate didn't have anyone that could wrap their arms around her and bring her back to the sand. We could all learn a valuable lesson from Mrs. Spade, no matter how successful you are, mental illness doesn't avoid the well-off. But always remember, there are multiple people there to pull you back to the sand."

I had to claw for the people in my life to pull me back to the sand for months, it wasn't until a couple months into college I found that person.

Earlier I referenced that having suicidal thoughts but not wanting to die was kinda like swimming underwater but coming up for air. This comes from you feeling like you are drowning but you know that you will be able to surface soon and beat your thoughts. As soon as you break the water, you feel a sense of relief, however, that feeling can be temporary. Some people have felt like not coming up is going to be easier than surfacing, but I've seen both sides. I know it is easier to stay under and take a deep breath, but there are so many people that are there to pull you back to the sand when you feel you're most alone.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW ARE STRUGGLING WITH SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND/OR TENDENCIES, REACH OUT IMMEDIATELY. NO ONE SHOULD GO THROUGH THIS ALONE. SUICIDE IS SERIOUS.

National Suicide Hotline: 1 (800) 273-8255 - available 24/7

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13 Reminders For The College Student Nearing A Breakdown During Finals

Only getting 3 hours of sleep is not something to be proud of.

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Let's be honest, finals is stressing us all out. Many of us are on the brink of an emotional breakdown from the stress already and those who aren't probably will be soon. Finals is way worse than anyone could have prepared for, but we will all get through it. It will be two weeks of complete hell, but you got this. Here's a few reminders to help you maintain your sanity in a time of pure stress.

1. "Doing your best" does not mean working yourself to the point of a mental breakdown

You can only do so much studying before your brain is full. You eventually hit a point where staying in the library for another hour won't be beneficial, it will be detrimental. "Doing your best" is trying your hardest, nowhere does it say that doing your best should mean sacrificing your sanity or wellbeing. If you feel like you cannot do any more work, then be done for the day; overworking yourself is just as bad for your health as smoking a pack of cigarettes.

2. Try not to compare yourself to those around you

Yes, the person sitting next to you might have gotten an A on their paper, but if you got a B or a C or even a D, that's okay. Grades are measured in letters or numbers, but remember that it's all about how far you've come and how hard you tried. If you tried your hardest and the best you could get was a C, be proud of that C--you worked hard for it. Comparing yourself to your peers will only inflict more stress on yourself because everyone is different.

3. You can start over next semester

One bad test won't ruin your life; one bad course won't ruin your life; one bad semester won't ruin your life. There's always next semester to do better. Ten years down the road, the grade you got in Philosophy 1000 will most likely mean nothing. Learn from your mistakes this semester and know what to do better next semester.

4. Your self worth does not depend on what others think and say about you

A professor might think you are stupid because you do bad on a test, your classmates might think you are slacking if you appear to not be paying attention in class; what they think does not matter. Don't let someone get in your head if they criticize you for whatever grade you got or how many classes you are taking. You are not defined by their opinion of you.

5. If you struggle with a mental illness and you relapse in some way during finals season, it does not diminish the progress you have made

Finals season is added stress for everyone, but particularly people who struggle with a mental illness tend to feel the stress more intensely. Relapsing at anytime is normal, mental illnesses are a lifetime struggle, but people are more prone to them during times of high stress. Remember that one step back is nothing compared to all the progress you have already made.

6. School does not come first; your wellbeing does

Often times we are told that "school comes first" or "school is your only job" by parents, professors, etc. This is not true. Your wellbeing comes first and you have more than one job, one of them being to take care of yourself. Put yourself first, even before school work. Yes, your education is for you and it betters you as a person, but sacrificing your health is not worth anything.

7. Asking for help does not make you weak

If you can't come up with an idea for a paper, go to the writing center. If you are confused about a topic, go to your professor's office hours. If you're struggling mentally, go to the counseling center. There is no shame in needing help in any aspect of your life. There is a reason they provide all these resources.

8. If you're tired, go to sleep

There's nothing more important than getting a good night's sleep. Sleep impacts everything: your appetite, mental functioning, performance in school, etc. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to get sick which none of us can afford during finals.

9. Your parents might not always understand and that's okay

They might ask why you got a C, why you did not try harder, why you did not do better, etc. But if that is your best and you are happy with it, then that is all that matters. College has changed since our parents went to college, and if they did not go then it makes it even harder for them to understand how difficult it can be. Parents just do not get it sometimes, and while that can be difficult, it is okay.

10. You success is not relative to the success of those around you

If you get a B on a test and someone else gets an A, that does not make them better than you or even necessarily smarter than you. Maybe last time, you got a D on the test and this is drastic improvement for you. That is success. It is not diminished because someone else got a higher grade.

11. Small victories are still victories

Take tasks one at a time. Even if it is just finishing one question in a review packet, it's more than you had done before. Small accomplishments eventually build up to a big one. Take it in strides.

12. You will get through this

Finals will end eventually. You will get through all the tests and papers. You have survived 100% of your worst days so far. You got this.

13. It's okay to cry when it is over.

You gotta get yourself through finals, but once they are over, all bets are off. That head cold that you've felt coming on for weeks? Let it contaminate you. The crying that you've only let slip out a little? Let it all out; sob like a baby. Have an emotional breakdown; let yourself feel everything you've held bottled up during finals. You worked hard; you deserve to let yourself feel.

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