Guess what, everybody? Midterms are coming up! You know what that means, right? Say hello to the next couple of weeks from hell, because you are about to get slammed with exams, papers, projects and whatever else you can think of. Thank God, right? Because it’s not like any of us already have enough on our plates as is. A regular week of school is stressful enough without adding to the mix an extra few things that could make or break your grade.
Please trust me when I say that I fully appreciate and relate to the pain of those who have so many things to do that sleep isn’t a foreseeable event in the near future. Every second of the day is spent planning how to get everything done on time and worrying about actually getting it done. Everything else is pretty much forced to the wayside while you run around like the Road Runner from Looney Tunes trying to make sure you’re at the top of your game with your academics. Why? Well, silly you for asking! These days, you need to have top notch grades in order to have any kind of security in job hunting after you graduate. It doesn’t matter if your experiences outside the classroom are what shaped your capabilities and values. If you don’t have stellar study habits or test-taking abilities, your chances for employment decrease dramatically.
I won’t go into detail about my opinions on the education system this week, though, nor am I trying to dishearten anyone who is struggling with their schoolwork because, as I mentioned before, I am in the same boat. Rather, I am trying to give those who are struggling a nice, brand new pair of rose-colored glasses to wear around and show off to your friends and family. These glasses are beautiful and can do so much more for you than any other pair of glasses in the world. I personally decided to get a pair quite some years ago, and I can honestly say that they have become an integral part of my character now. Granted, there are some days that I forget to put them on. Sometimes, I even lose them for a month or so. But, I always manage to find them, shine them up and stick them back on again.
Everybody needs to invest in a pair of these wonderful glasses, because they really do change not only the way you see things, but more importantly the way you choose to react to the events of the world, which is critical to your overall happiness. In case there is any confusion among my readers about what the heck rose-colored glasses are, they are a metaphor for optimism and looking at the world from a positive perspective. For me, they are absolutely vital to making it through the day, especially during stressful and unhappy times. I don’t like to speak for other people, but I am sure most of my readers can relate when I say that it would be so easy to just give up and stop trying to be happy and let the world beat you down into a little speck on the ground. But, as I’ve been taught from day one, life isn’t supposed to be easy. If it is, then you are either doing it wrong or you are just the luckiest person in the universe. For most of us, though, it is not supposed to be easy at all. We become who we are by tackling the mountains in our paths. In the words of my favorite person, Miley Cyrus, “it ain’t about how fast you get there, it ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb.” Thanks, Miley! That’s some pure gold right there.
All sarcasm aside, though, she is right about your challenges just being a part of the journey. I’ve learned through my own experiences that the best way to deal with the tough things in life is to accept them for what they are, while at the same time fully appreciating all of the other things in life that make you happier than happy could be. For me, this would include my entire incredibly amazing family who has been there for me through the thick and thin. It would also include a great deal of the people I have met at John Carroll who make getting through the day a lot easier just by being who they are. Even taking time to appreciate the small things that make you happy can make an entire world of difference. For example, if you love pumpkin spice lattes as much as I do, then go ahead and get one when you are having a really bad day. Go ahead and let it make you feel better for the five or 10 minutes you spend enjoying it’s wonderful pumpkin-y goodness.
The bottom line is that your happiness depends heavily on how devoted you are to it. If you wake up in the morning and say, “I’m gonna be happy today, no matter what happens,” it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will have a better day than someone who rolls out of bed and puts a robe of misery on. Now, I don’t believe it is possible to be completely happy all of the time, because sometimes life really does just get you down, and that’s okay. That is an unfortunate part of life as well. However, sometimes the key to your happiness is right in your hands. Sometimes it’s just as simple as putting on your rose-colored glasses and seeing the world light up.