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

We can all remember that exhilarating rush of adrenaline and excitement we have all felt at one point, whether it’s running to see what presents Santa brought or the anticipation of putting your all into a paper or exam and awaiting your grade patiently. But, unfortunately, as we grow older, we begin to miss out on the happiness and the excitement the simplicities of life used to bring us. And the high speed our world current operates at definitely doesn’t make it any easier.

Being immersed in the world we live in now, our days sometimes blend into one. We get so wrapped up in whatever we are doing or what we want to do or achieve that we sometimes forget an important part of life: actually living it in the present moment. And as our semester slowly comes to an end, recognizing a few ways of finding the small tokens of appreciation in our days is something we all might need a reminder of.

1. enjoy some laughter with friends

Let me tell you, those polite laughs you share with strangers will never compare to the laughter you share with friends when it’s 1 a.m. and you are cracking up in fits of laughter, trying not to wake up anyone in the house. And while trying to hold back laughter, you all simultaneously somehow begin laughing just so much harder. One of your friends does something so stupid that you start laughing so hard that you need to clench your stomach because you’re laughing so hard.

The question of the day is, what were you laughing about? Well, I certainly couldn’t tell you, but I know that sometimes even such a small and stupid thing can invoke so much happiness in others. And sometimes what we’re missing in life is just some laughter over the simple and silly things.

2. Get in a snowball fight when Possible

I recently got to participate in a snowball fight, and let me tell you, I think it was the most exhilarating fun I truly had in a while. And some point, it’s clear that there are teams, and everyone is running and throwing snowballs like a real-life replay of a war battle. However, I think even more fun comes when the battle begins to die down slowly, and all you need is that one person to start throwing it at their teammates or friends. Then, it’s an all-out war.

It’s every man for themselves at that point, and whatever shots are taken at you, you have to be ready to take them because they’re coming and coming fast. At this point, no one can be trusted, everyone is out for blood, and it’s honestly the funniest thing to observe how serious snowball fights can become. You may even make some unexpected alliances when everyone’s out for blood. I’ll admit in what seems like a second, I looked away and got plastered with a snowball. Do I have any idea where or who it came from? Nope. I do know I was cracking up laughing afterward. I had to admit someone got me good.

Now maybe the holidays have lost some sparkle for some people, but one thing that usually comes around once a year in certain parts of the country is snow. And if you have the chance to just enjoy some fun in the snow, do it. Throw some snowballs around and enjoy the snow. Please don’t severely injure someone, but some harmless fun never hurt anyone.


My friends can tell you that I prefer cats over dogs. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs; I have a preference and have had both cats and dogs. But regardless of that, cats, dogs, or any animals all have the ability to bring some joy into our lives.

I think it’s the cutest thing in the world to see my cats during the day act so put together, sleepy, and, you know, just being cats. But the second a piece of string comes out, it’s game over. Their little tails slowly move back and forth before they start pouncing all over the place for the little piece of string. And their little paws begin trying to attack it and almost grab it like humans. And I don’t think anything at that moment could disrupt them from getting that string.

Or after a day of my cats being MIA, whether it’s sleeping or just doing their own thing, it becomes routine at this point that once nightfall comes, they circle my bed or sit on it and slowly doze off on it. There’s one cat I have who loves pets and cuddles, his name is Lucky, and I swear if this cat could be held all day in my hands or just lay on me somewhere at all points of the day, he would. And he’s just a baby; he doesn’t want much, he’s just happy to be there, and I’m happy to be with him.

But I recently had the privilege of one cat, Simon, who is considered my grown little baby. He’s so serious and aloof during the day, but out of the blue, he walked over to my bed, jumped up, and slowly crawled into my lap and took a nap laying on my lap purring. I let him sleep there for a good bit; I didn’t want to startle him by moving. Eventually, Lucky climbed onto me as well, and they were both laying on top of me, rolled up in little circles sleeping. But now something about that moment brought me so close to the present, feeling both the cats laying on top of me sleeping away, and with every breath they took, I felt. It made me realize just how much I would miss these moments of being with them. And if you have any animals, you may know how much love you can hold for that little animal.


You know that saying that sometimes you need to stop and smell the flowers? Well, they weren’t wrong. A part of you may be thinking, how does this bring you joy? Well, I believe it may be directly or indirectly. Sometimes in the cold, gloomy days of winter, you cannot just go outside and sit there. And truly, part of you may not want to, as it’s cold, dark, and gloomy.

I personally opt for a place with water nearby, whether it’s a beach, a lake, a river, etc. There’s something about being in complete solitude with nothing but the sound of the waves and water moving, as a crisp yet delicately warm breeze glides across your skin, and just allowing yourself to just be there and enjoy your environment and where you are. Allowing your eye to graze upon the view, and maybe in the far distance, you can hear some birds chirping or squirrels arguing. You might shed a giggle trying to imagine what the squirrels are creating such a commotion over. Or if you’re at a beach, you’ll see some kids attempting to play what seems to be the worst game of Marco Polo, but they’re laughing and having fun with one another.

The moment doesn’t need to be perfect, but that’s what makes it beautiful. Finding beauty in something that may be overlooked or forgotten about — sometimes the most life-changing thing you’ll encounter is the thing you decide to overlook because it just doesn’t seem so important in the constant craziness of everyday life. It is finding the light even when there seems to be nothing to be so happy about. But when the weather allows for it, go outside, and enjoy the sunshine and warmth. Because just as quickly as that warm air and breeze came, just as quickly it may be gone.

5. Be thankful for the pain

This one may seem contradictory but don’t dismiss it too soon.

Life happens, and sometimes things aren’t meant to work out how we want them to. But, no matter how much we want them to change, sometimes things are unchangeable, and that’s just the way they are.

In the intense pursuit of what we want, we forget to experience the actual journey. We forget to embrace the pain and accept the lesson or the feelings that came with it. As our hearts ache for the loss of what once was or what we thought might be, we disconnect from the parts of ourselves that went out and tried repeatedly. We forget to show ourselves the compassion that we time and time again show to the people dearest to us.

Be happy and thankful that you are able and have the chance to feel the pain. Because for whatever reason, one day, you may not feel it anymore. After every thunderstorm, eventually comes sunshine with the potential for a rainbow. And be thankful for both, because, without the thunderstorm, there would be no rainbow. And even if there is no rainbow, sunshine will eventually come once a storm passes.

Khrystyna is a junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Marketing. She has published a book called "Faded Reality." During her free time, she loves reading, scrapbooking, and fishing. Her fun fact is that she knows five languages.