Why The 'Simple Things' In Life Bring The Most Joy

Why The 'Simple Things' In Life Bring The Most Joy, Even When They Don’t 'Matter' The Most

I’d prefer lots of small, enjoyable experiences everyday over one, profound excitement far and few between.

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snele1
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I don't think anyone's escaped a visit to their grandparents without hearing something about, "it's the simple things," at some point. You know, the everyday things in life that we generally take for granted; sunny weather after weeks of grey, cloudless skies, the weekend after an overwhelmingly busy work or school week, or even a favorite snack when afternoon hunger strikes. These things aren't really life-altering, but they hold more power in the present than we often give them credit for.

As the days, weeks, and months all run together in a seamless blur of busyness and routine, I know that I'm guilty of letting a lot of life's small, meaningful blessings go unappreciated. It's not that I tend to be ungrateful, I think it's mostly that I'm not mindful enough. This lack of mindfulness prevents me from consciously appreciating these things. While this is mostly true, I've recently started to notice that some of the smallest, inconsequential things are bringing me the most joy.

As the warm weather starts to settle in and the sun rays begin to peak out again, I'm excitedly welcoming the arrival of Spring. Hands down, Spring is my favorite season. For many reasons, but the simplest being flowers. The flowers are beginning to bloom; everywhere! While those with allergies may be in opposition to a flower fetish, I can't get enough of them. Just seeing them around the neighborhood trees or in scattered patches across campus instantly brightens my day. I don't know if it's the rich, varied colors or subtle, calming fragrance, but the arrival of spring blooms is quite possibly my favorite thing about the season.

Another lesson of gratitude I've been learning is celebrating the small victories. The little accomplishments like checking off things on the "to-do list," completing one out of however many assignments, or having clean clothes, dishes, and hair at night are just really refreshing. Yes, they're all necessary obligations, but completing each task is such a rewarding feeling. Some people might even consider this a part of the widespread upswing in self-care, which would also explain why it leaves me feeling so accomplished.

I guess, in regards to my earlier statement, I've started the shift towards "mindfulness." By no means am I an expert in heightened awareness, but I think that's what my newfound appreciations boil down to. Even when I'm charging through my day, my mind slows from time to time to experience brief moments of simple joy. The sprouting blooms and finished assignments pop up at just the right time to keep my mood and outlook elevated.

While some of us follow a tighter schedule than others, we all have unique, individual moments of life's simplicity to celebrate. It doesn't even require setting aside time. We can just as easily practice gratitude as we come and go. Maybe, it will be savoring the taste of our morning coffee a little more or catching all the green lights on our daily commutes. The small things are dotted throughout all aspects of our lives. These ordinary pick-me-ups are pervasive in the best way possible.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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The Top 3 Lifestyle Changes I Made In College

The mistakes I corrected which stood between me and satisfaction.

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2019 has been a year of unparalleled growth for me. In 2018 I could have said the same. I spent extended periods of time analyzing the factors of my life which left me, in some ways, feeling unfulfilled. Here are the top 3 lifestyle changes that I made in college which left me feeling happier than ever.

1. Cut out the toxic people. 

A house is worthless without a solid foundation. The people which you call your friends are largely the foundation for your confidence and social life. Sometimes, we recognize that these people are overall anchors on our psyche; condescending narcissists whose confidence rests on making others feel inadequate. The first step to building self-confidence is to get these people out of your life immediately. Once you solidify this foundation, you will soon realize how pitiful these people are, and growth you had been capable of without them.

2. Do you even lift?

Not only has my physical condition improved from going to the gym, so has my mental strength. As my physical form has improved, my confidence has risen. We have spent millions of years evolving to physically exert ourselves. Our modern lifestyle has left many of us without this crucial key to endorphins and proper brain chemistry; a factor which has promoted never before seen rates of depression and anxiety. Lifting weights have left me feeling better than I can remember, with endorphins and testosterone at an all-time high.

For years, I either avoided the gym or found excuses to stop. The reason I never committed to fitness was largely a lack of interest in self-betterment, but also a feeling of cluelessness in the subject. I recommend utilizing the "Beginner's Health and Fitness Guide" linked here. This guide breaks down fitness in an incredibly easy to understand way. This information is not published by someone trying to sell you something. It was written by input from numerous online fitness enthusiasts and refined for accuracy as well as simplicity. This guide has helped me and many others in online communities start down the road to improved physical and mental health through fitness.

3. Do as much as possible, even when you don't feel like it. 


I squandered years of my short life secluding myself to a comfort bubble. While in college, I have realized that happiness largely rests on occupying yourself with new and real experiences as frequently as possible. Time which would have previously been wasted on my phone, the television, or playing online games was shifted to trying new things. As often as possible, I have pushed myself to undertake activities such as learning to snowboard, grabbing food with people from college whom I had just met, going hiking with strangers and our mutual friend, traveling solo, etc. Pushing myself further from my comfort bubble every day has been exceptionally conducive to not only living life to a greater degree but also decreasing the anxieties which we all experience.


What can you fix in your current life to build the lifestyle you dream of?





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