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Her Campus Durham’s Favourite Piece of Advice

For those of you who read my article about inspiring women, you’ll know that my own mumma made the coveted list. This time, it’s my dad’s turn – and I’d like to share one of his many pearls of wisdom with you all.

Like many families, we use a group chat to keep up to date with each other’s hectic lives. For my brother (who is currently living the fresher life) it’s a way to tell me how often he’s out, and about all the fun stuff he gets up to. Which I love. I really love. Especially when I’m in the library. For my mother, it’s a platform to use every emoji that the IPhone has to offer. Every single message requires emoji usage. The hearts, the stars, the cakes and cups of tea/coffee – it’s intense.

As for my dad, it’s an opportunity to check in with us all, and see what we are getting up to. He’s retired, and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to chat with him pretty much 24/7. Whenever something great happens, I call him, whenever something not-so-great happens, I call him, and whenever I need help and guidance, I call him.

Whatever conundrum I throw at him; whether it’s making a big decision, tackling a problem, or just simply because I’m having a bad day – his message on the family group chat after our phone call or facetime is always the same: keep smiling. It sounds daft. It sounds simplistic. It sounds obvious. But it’s the best advice I’ve ever received, (and I’ll continue to receive).

I’m not saying that a smile fixes everything. I’m not suggesting that if you smile it’ll all be okay. I’m a great advocate of both men and women talking about their feelings and emotions, and how important it is to build a society in which everyone is open and unafraid to talk about their individual wellbeing.

What I am saying is that when I feel as though the world is against me, and that nothing else can go wrong, that smiling makes everything feel slightly less suffocating. It’s a small action that makes you feel marginally less low, and may even have the potential to brighten someone else’s day.

So folks, when you are having one of those days. Or it feels like it’s just so not your week. Or month. Or year. And that nothing is going your way. Just. Keep. Smiling. I promise, although it’ll feel like the last thing you want or need to be doing, it’s a simple thing that takes minimal effort, and can have a huge impact.

Love ya pops. Keep smiling!

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