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Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

The Two Steps You Need to Take Now to Feel Happier—Spring Cleaning Beyond Your Closet

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Does the theme of “start fresh this March”, or “this spring I’ll finally start”, sound like you? I want to tell you not to start fresh, but to grow and to continue on what you already have. Love spending time online? Great, don’t stop doing that completely, but do narrow down your following. Whatever you do from this spring, March 1st and on, make sure you invest your time on what will truly, 100% benefit you. Below I’ll discuss two things you can change that will increase your happiness this spring.

Start with social media: unfollow, block, and delete the toxic people in your feed!

I did this recently and it felt amazing. Who should you unfollow? First, your high school classmates. They won’t care, and even if they do, were you really their friend back then? It’s been more than 4 years, so if you haven’t said a word to them since graduation, I recommend you unfollow them. Think of it this way: if you wouldn’t want to spend your free time with them in real life, they shouldn’t be taking up time on your feed. I unfollowed most of my classmates from high school, especially the ones that I never truly shared a friendship with, and I forgot about it a week later. 

You should also unfollow celebrities–because they truly don’t care about you, no matter how much what they say in interviews. Some of them probably mean it genuinely, but the fact remains that if you won’t call to share your intimate happy moments from your day or ask for advice on a bad day, then you shouldn’t obsess over their last post. Similarly, try and stay away from influencers who use Photoshop excessively and pose with expensive designer clothing. I’m not talking about heightening up the exposure and adding some grain to your picture to have that soft aesthetic. I’m talking about wearing Prada or Chanel and diamonds and having professional cameras and lights around all the time. Nothing changes a person more than the material things they submerge themselves in. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if they have earned it, but to want those things and to especially compare yourself to celebrities does not move you any closer to your goals and might make you envious!   

Lastly, simply unfollow anybody who truly doesn’t give you happiness when you look at them. We all follow those accounts who we’ve outgrown–their content just isn’t that exciting or appealing to us anymore but we sort of just stick around. Why stick to mediocre content? 

After unfollowing some people, you can replace those accounts with more positive ones. An example would be “influencers” in your niche. Say you love to work out and want to lose some weight: find that guy or a girl who is encouraging in the videos and provides useful content that when you look at their picture, you first learn something, and second leave Instagram feeling positive, the feeling that you can and will do that too rather than wishing you had her dress or his car. They might not have millions of followers, but they give you happiness and further knowledge. You can also follow your dream college, your favorite museum or your local bookstore. Anything that increases your thirst for knowledge and self-improvement is a great start!

Think broader: focus on acquiring lasting intellectual wealth rather than accumulating material goods!

Instead of buying a new dress, makeup pallet, or bag that you saw on social media, buy a book that you will finish by the end of March. I will be completely honest and say that I do plan to shop just a little during spring break in NYC, and I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t shop or treat yourself to that new outfit. What I am saying is that you should invest in experiences rather than material things that will just accumulate in your dorm. Think of it this way–by reading a book, you will gain (subconsciously and consciously) new vocabulary, your writing and speech will improve. You’ll also gain a new perspective on the world by being immersed in a world of your characters.  

After I ranted about how I want to have this and that to my mom after looking at social media, my mom said, “Why are you looking at them? Everything’s fine with them and their life. It’s you who you have to worry about cause your life isn’t and won’t be as glamorous as theirs. They’ll have everything you never did or do and looking at that won’t change that fact.” Although I thought that was a bit harsh, and I am a firm believer that we can have anything we want in life if we’re willing to work hard sacrificing plenty, she was right. Those words stung and stuck with me. I realized I am going to apply this to everything I do in life. If I channel my energy into something or someone, it will benefit me in some way. If you haven’t done that, this spring is a perfect time to begin. 

Implementing those two steps will make a big difference in your daily attitude, making you smarter and happier. Happy Spring cleaning, HCBU gals!  

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Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.