Leaving Behind the Darker Days

It isn't always easy to stay happy, sometimes it even feels impossible. I try so hard to keep a positive outlook on life but sometimes that can become frustrating and not seem realistic.

College is known as the "best time of your life" but I don't necessarily agree with that. Sure, there are so many great memories that are made, but what about the constant stress and pressure that you have on you? What about the stereotype that you're supposed to have great grades, be involved on campus, oh, and manage a social life?

What if none of that stress existed? What if we could be happy all the time? What if we never knew what it felt like to be afraid and alone? What if we didn't have to pull all-nighters to get work done and then be expected to be in class for our 8 a.m.'s? I don't know if I would love or hate if none of those things existed, but I don't get to decide because it's not an option in college.

Wrapping of Junior year, I can look back and realize that it was full of ups and downs. Because of this, I'm making my newest goal in the journey to working on myself to better deal with the not-so-happy times.

Here's how I plan on working towards this new goal:

Have big supporters:
There will be times when you want to curl up in a ball and cry all night. Maybe you failed a test or you had an awful fight with your boyfriend, whatever the reason is it is bound to happen. It is so important to have people in your life who will lay next to you for as long as you need and stop your mind from going into a dark place it may want to take you. The people that will crawl up next to you and stay with you are the people you HAVE to have in your life, they are crucial. From now on, I am planning on only trusting those types of people. I don't see a point in trusting my deepest thoughts and fears with people who won't bother to help me work through them.

Talk to someone:
Whether it's an actual counselor or just someone you can confide in, talk to them. You need a safe person that you can tell your darkest secrets/concerns to, who won't judge and will make it a priority to help you work through them. I recently started working with someone and it has changed my life. I feel so grateful to have someone who holds back all judgment and truly cares to help me with my wellbeing.

Take your mind off it:
When your mind goes to a scary, sad point that you don't want it to, do something that helps pull you back to better thoughts. Go for a run, sit on the beach, read - just do things that make you feel happy to be alive. Running has become my new healthy addiction and I am so thankful I found it. Every time I get upset I lace up my sneakers and go for a nice long run and I instantly feel better.

Read inspiring books:
Do some research about books that focus on what you are currently struggling with and give them a read. It helps to know that people are going through similar situations and to hear their perspective on how they dealt with it. I've read a couple of books that have made me look at life in a different way and I am happy I did. I am going to do a lot of research this summer to find more books that I can relate to because I really believe it helps.

Acknowledge your accomplishments:
Notice how far you have come. It will make you feel so much stronger if you take the time to look back at where you were two months ago and notice how great you're doing. I am going to start writing down my accomplishments at the end of each week so that on days where I feel bad about myself, I know that my negative thoughts are just tricking me.

No matter what age you're at you are bound to go through something that may temporarily feel like it is ruining your happiness -- but it is important to know that you can get through anything. That horrible test grade, the fight with your parents, the fall out with your friends, whatever it may be, none of it defines you and none of it should have the power to. Refuse to let it.

Keep fighting the battles that life throws at you because you are so much stronger than you think and each struggle only makes you more of a warrior.