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

As I am writing this, I’m sitting outside on campus. I originally came outside to get work done but when I sat down and tried to focus on my work, I suddenly became inspired to write. This is strange for me, as I typically do not enjoy going outside. I am more of a homebody. I like staying inside, in bed, doing work or watching Netflix. But for some reason today I decided I just had to get outside and take advantage of this beautiful weather. So I did. 

Yet, instead of doing work, I am writing. I wondered why that was. Now, obviously, there is probably some psychological reason that explains a correlation between getting sunlight and happiness or productiveness. It could also be because my bloodwork has shown a significant lack of vitamin D so my body is just happy to be getting what it needs. But for some reason, it feels like it’s more than that. It feels like I have been cooped up inside for so long that I deprived my mental health of what it has secretly wanted this whole time. Usually, it’s my mental health that keeps me locked up in my room for days on end, but now I am realizing that probably isn’t what I actually want and definitely not what I actually need. 

A friend and I recently spoke about why it’s so difficult for people to just do things that make them happy. We were talking about mostly ourselves and how when there is something we know that will make us happy, we find external excuses to justify why we can’t do that thing right at that moment. In reality, the only thing stopping us from doing what makes us happy is ourselves. For me personally, I feel as though I am trying to come up with excuses as to why I shouldn’t do things that make me happy because I feel guilty. I feel guilty for engaging in something that society deems unproductive. But being happy and enjoying ourselves is probably the most productive thing we can do. 

I guess I’m really writing this journal to reassure myself that it’s okay to feel happy and do things that make you happy. That doing things for myself is productive. 

So as I am sitting here basking in the sun and writing this, I finally get to slow down and appreciate my surroundings and realize that regardless of what work or assignments I feel like I need to complete right now, what I really need is to take a moment and enjoy the thing that is making me happy right now before it goes away. And that’s the sun. 

Madison Centeno is a junior sociology and women's and gender studies major. When she isn't at protests or actively fighting for human rights, she is in her room studying or reading! She loves to write and share information about social injustices occurring worldwide. Follow her on Instagram @madisonrue190 to get to know her more!