We have to choose joy and we have to keep choosing it

Let me begin by saying if you didn’t sing the title of this post in your head while reading it, I highly suggest you go look up the song sung by the Bleachers as soon as you’re done reading this. I will also warn you that it will probably get stuck in your head soon after.

Being the introvert that I am and being completely guilty of locking myself in my dorm room and only leaving when I need food, I have way too much time on my hands to just sit and think and drown in my thoughts. For the past two weekends, I’ve done nothing but reflect on my time here in college so far and I’ve come to this conclusion: I know that I am not happy with how I’ve been living my life.

For the past 6 months, I’ve been moping around. I’ve been merely going through the motions of every single day, going to bed and repeating the process all over again. I’ve been sad and hurting and completely unsatisfied all the time, and it’s been absolutely pathetic. Whenever I think about this I begin to feel guilty because I have so many wonderful people in my life who support me in everything I do, so why on earth do I feel so alone all the time?

My first semester of college made me realize that everything I was looking forward to about college wasn’t exactly what I needed, and finally admitting this to myself made me dive into a pool of emotions I’ve never experienced before. I’m a firm believer that happiness isn’t only an emotion, but also a mindset. Every single day, happiness is always something you can choose. You can choose to let the negative feelings and moments in life get you down, or you can choose to keep your chin up and look forward to the positives that are to come. Unfortunately, I’ve been choosing the first option for far too long.

But I’ve finally decided that it’s time to tackle this and get on with my life.

Being away from my friends and family is infinitely harder than I ever thought it would be, and I can admit to the fact that I haven’t been coping with the distance as well as I had hoped. I’m just grateful that I live in the age of technology and Skype and FaceTime are very prevalent in my life. For the time that I’ve been here in college, I have put maybe 10% effort into making new friends. I have made a few friends with some great guys and I am beyond grateful for them, but sometimes a girl just needs some girlfriends. I am setting a goal right now to make more of an effort to form relationships with other people while I’m here in college. (If I write it down on a public platform, maybe I’ll actually do it, right?).

Living up to my millennial stereotype, I spend a ridiculous amount of time staring at my phone when I could be developing relationships with people instead. So far it’s been two weeks since I got rid of my Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, and it’s been the most liberating thing I’ve done for myself in a while. It’s a little embarrassing when you realize how much time you spend invested in other people’s lives, and most of them are people you don’t even care about. So here’s goal number two: worry less about what others are doing and focus on bettering myself.

Over the course of my first semester, I managed to watch 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls and 6 seasons of Gossip Girl, all before the week before finals came. For those of you who are avid Netflix watchers, this may seem like nothing, but when you think about how many episodes and hours I was in my room alone watching these shows it’s pretty sad, right? A general resolution I made for myself for in 2016 had the main theme of indulging in everything that makes me feel happy. Some people could say that binge-watching not only one series but TWO in an entire semester would make them feel pretty great, but it made me feel ashamed of myself. Therefore goal number three: find meaningful things to do with my time. It’s time to get involved; make art, go to campus events, help and serve the community, engage with those around me. 

Obviously, these goals aren’t things I can do once and then forget about, which is exactly what I need. I’ve spent so much of my time sitting in my dorm, wallowing in sadness and sulking around like the life has been drained out of me, and I’m sick of it. I wanna get better, and here’s to hoping that I do.

You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want

-S.E. Hinton




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