As a senior in college with graduation coming up soon in April, I’ve been reflecting a lot recently. So, I thought I’d share one of the biggest things that I have learned in the past four years that have made a huge positive difference in my life and that I will take with me into post-college life. And I want to preface by saying, I am still working on this one because I have to break those patterns and habits in my head that I’ve learned my whole life until now. So, don’t be too hard on yourself if it feels difficult at first, it was for me too!
Perspective is everything
This is probably the most pivotal thing I’ve learned in my college experience. Changing your perspective on life and really on anything and everything makes a world of difference on so many things like your mental health, your relationships, your confidence, your overall happiness, etc. I used to think from a very pessimistic, glass-half-empty point of view. I’m not sure if its because of my trauma, because of my mental health struggles or because society has just made me that way, but turning my attitude and the way I view the world around has made my life so much better. Some of these I learned in therapy so I hope they can help you too.
find the beauty
Now, I always try to look for the positive things in every situation that feels challenging or bad. Try to see the beauty in your life as often as you can! Even if you’re going through something difficult, focusing your mind on the positive things makes it feel a little bit easier and helps you through it. If you put positivity out into the universe, you will receive positivity back.
I also try to practice gratitude as often as I can, whether its verbally stating things I’m grateful for, journaling them or just simply making a mental note. There is so much that we take for granted in this life that we don’t even think twice about. Practicing gratitude can help open your eyes to what you do have. Over Christmas break, I took a trip to the Philippines that really changed my perspective on gratitude. I thought that I had seen a heartbreaking amount of homelessness when I went to New York a few years ago, but it is nothing compared to what I saw there. Even simple things that you might never think of like having running, clean water, is a big luxury for some people there, and in the US too. Really taking the time to think about how much you have in your life to be grateful for can help put a more positive outlook on your life and make new, more positive patterns in your head.
see the balance
Throughout my time in college, I’ve lost multiple loved ones. And at times, the grief still felt overwhelming and thats okay. But I saw this quote somewhere that completely changed my perspective on losing someone (I wish I remembered where but I have the worst memory and it wasn’t in my screenshots, l looked, I’m sorry). The quote went something like this, “How utterly beautiful is it that you were able to love someone so deeply, that the loss of them caused you so much pain.” If you think about this quote, it could be applied to more than just grief and losing someone. Everything in life has to have a balance, it must always come to an end. But how beautiful is it that you were able to experience it in the first place?
Be yourself, who gives a f**K
I also have started, more recently, to decide to be unapologetically myself and to not care what other people think of me. I know, that suds kind of cliche and everyone says it, but they say it for good reason. It does not, nor will it ever matter what other people think of you. If they don’t like you, they simply are not for you. Take up space, be yourself, shine as bright as you want to! Another quote I saw (I know this one for sure, I have the screenshot HAHA but it was just on Insta) that helped changed my perspective on my self confidence was this: “Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?’ No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?’ No, it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies?’ No, it burns, it shines.”