When you think of your stressful college schedule, probably one of the last words that comes to mind is joy. Honestly, I hate to break it to ya, but college is one of the busiest times in your life. It can be mentally and physically exhausting. For some students, they spend four years of their life in constant worry and anxiety. Personally, I know too many people like this.
And you know what kills me? It really doesn’t have to be like that.
One thing that has helped me grow as a person between my freshman and sophomore year is having JOY.
This semester I’m taking 21 hours and working two jobs. I’m also involved in a sorority with a demanding schedule. At the beginning of the summer, I was thinking that this semester was going to be super stressful, and I was dreading the thought of it.
I told myself everything would get better if I could just make it through it. However, when having a conversation with a close friend over the summer and expressing the future frustration I was going to have, they told me something that changed me outlook entirely. They said, “I know you’re going to be so busy this next semester. But don’t focus on the busyness. Focus on all of the positive experiences will come this semester. Try to enjoy everything you’re doing, even amongst the busyness, because if you don’t, you’re going to miss a lot.”
At first that kind of stung a little, because I felt like I was being called out, and then I realized they were right. So, I’ve approached this semester completely different than I had originally planned. Instead of stressing about all of the assignments I have due, I’ve chosen to focus on the relationships all around me. Growing the ones I already have, and cultivating the potential ones that are all around me.
Even though I’m significantly busier this year than I was last year, I’ve been able to enjoy this year much more than last year. Simply because I’m daily choosing joy. I’ve learned to manage my time in a way where I can accomplish all of my academics, but still make time for myself.
The truth is, JOY is a choice. It’s not circumstantial, it’s a daily mindset that we either choose to reject or embrace. My challenge to you is to EMBRACE joy. Stop focusing on all of the little things that won’t matter a week from now.
Focus on the relationships and people around you. Make memories with them that will smile about years from now. Go to lunch with someone you’ve wanted to get to know better. Grab coffee with a girlfriend you need to catch up with. Schedule some time for yourself.
Make the daily choice. Choose joy, and watch how it transforms the way you live your life.