“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn”
Happiness. When you picture this word, you might picture something bright, yellow and fun. When I picture this, it’s a smile, a real smile. It’s eyes that light up when you think about someone you love. It’s the warm feeling in your heart when you know you’re where you belong.
Why is it that, in college, we don’t experience happiness as much as things like frustration, panic and sadness? We’re often told that these are the happiest times of our lives and these are the memories that will last a lifetime, yet we don’t realize this until it’s too late.
Whether it’s because you’re homesick, stressed or even tired, staying happy while in college is a task all in itself. Take it from someone who has had her very high highs and her very, very low lows, once you learn your balance, it all comes easy. Here are some ways that help me stay happy during the semester.
1. If you’re homesick: FaceTime.
Thank you, Apple for making the greatest app for communication ever! The number of times I have called my family to say hi, show them an outfit or ask to see my pets are innumerable. There is no problem that talking to your mom can’t fix.
You can call your home friends, too! When I’m having a particularity rough day, I’ll call a “home” friend and vent or sometimes even just let the phone sit there with someone on the other line. To know someone who really means a lot to me is there, okay maybe not really there, can brighten my mood any day.
2. If you’re stressed: Have a cozy night in.
Sometimes school can be a bit too much and when you feel like the entire semester is crushing you with its entire weight, take a night away from the library and cozy up in your room. My FAVORITE addition to a cozy night is a cup of Lipton Stress Less Tea in my favorite mug, with honey and lemon. Pop some popcorn, light a few candles and curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket. If you’re taking a break from school work turn on Netflix or open a new book, I promise you won’t regret it.
More recently, these kinds of nights have been saving my sanity. Especially now with fall coming, my pumpkin scented candle collection has more candles than one person ever needs!
Check out this Pottery Barn article for more ideas for a cozy night!
3. If you feel lonely: Make a new friend.
This past semester, I felt lonely more often than not. It seemed all my friends were distancing themselves and I felt like I had no one. Yes, I had my best friends still and I’m SO thankful for them, but I needed something new in my life.
I decided to go out of my comfort zone and start hanging out with new people and I will never regret that decision. Now, I always have somebody to do something with, whether that’s hanging out, going to the store, grabbing some coffee or having fun on the weekends.
Sometimes it’s scary and feels intimidating, but the feeling in the end when you have some new friends and knowing you let yourself try something new is priceless.
4. If you’re sad: Find your space.
When I moved into my house in Kent, I knew I wanted my bedroom to be my happy place. A place where I can go when I’m sad, happy, excited even mad. I decorated my room with white furniture and bedding and added a pop of bright blue with the pictures I hung on the wall. It’s bright and airy and knowing it’s all mine makes me happy.
Pick a room in your house or dorm and make it yours. Decorate it how you want it with what colors make you happy. Hang your favorite artist or actor on the wall. Make it yours. Make it a place you want to be in and smile in.
Here is how lifestyle blogger DefiningDanie made her room her favorite space in her house!
5. If you’re bored: HAVE FUN!
We’re all in college for school, but every once in a while, it’s crucial to take a step back, put away the textbook and just have fun! We’re only in college for four years, we will never get this time back. Take advantage of having your best friends living in the same house as you as long as you can.
Hit the town for a night out, see a movie or laugh over a vine compilation; ask some friends to join you or have a day to yourself. Be young and be in college for the night (or the weekend) . Enjoy yourself.