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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kennesaw chapter.

Bittersweet, released in April of 2022, is a book by Susan Cain that talks about how longing and sadness enriches life.

Longing, or yearning, is the desire for the world to become a more beautiful place as described by Cain. Wanting the world to become more perfect can spur people forward to make art or change society or norms for the better.

Longing can also invite other people into one’s life. Depression is often thought of when most people think of longing or sadness. Depression is isolating while yearning is a shared experience that connects people together, according to the New York Times.

Longing is described in the book as a “pro-social” emotion. This means that, just like in the movie Inside Out, sadness is what makes other people come around sometimes to comfort or love or share in the feelings of others.

Longing also does not necessarily have to involve religion in order for it to be considered satisfactory. One does not need to long for Eden or Mecca to see the beauty of nature or art.

Those who inhabit more melancholy bodies and minds are typically more sensitive, creative and spiritual, according to The Guardian. Slowing down and seeing the world in a minor key can assist people in taking in the world with a grateful lens.

While the book does not delve deeper into the societal implications of sadness, Bittersweet challenges the idea that whatever is sad needs to be bottled up or cast aside for the sake of productivity and in itself can be a motivator, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Bittersweet is a satisfactory read for college students. Bringing in accessible language and familiar examples in current media, Bittersweet invites students to slow down and smell the roses.

College for many is a transitionary period that can characterize emerging adulthood from adolescence to adulthood. College is not meant to last forever but can be a meaningful and life-changing period in students’ lives. Activities that last forever typically have a lesser impact on one’s life because it feels like the basic normal for someone.

Filled with homework and fast-paced stress, college can be a difficult time to cherish. The promise of a better future can sometimes hinder students from accepting their current present.

Students can adopt practices that help slow down the racing day-to-day and develop gratefulness, such as writing down three things one is thankful for everyday or learning how to meditate.

Bittersweet is a book that can add perspective to those who wish to learn more about how sadness helps one fulfill their soul’s desires.

Nonbinary advocate (he/they) and interested in LGBT+ topics! Junior at Kennesaw State University and writer/editor.