“Casual magic” is a term coined by YouTuber, UnJaded Jade, to describe the simplicities of life that bring joy or gratitude. Every once in a while, this term pops back into my head and, at that moment, I find one or two things around me that make me grateful for being alive.
Over the past several weeks, with the stress of midterms and grad school applications, I have needed some “casual magic,” and I made it my mission to find the small things that bring me joy at UMass Amherst.
- The changing colors of the leaves
There is something about New England’s fall weather that is just so beautiful. There is a tree outside my bedroom window that, at the beginning of fall, was an array of orange, yellow, and red. When I came home from class, I would stare at the tree for a minute. It astounded me that something so simple could be so beautiful. Now that the leaves are gone, I think of the beauty of the circle of life, knowing that the leaves will return in the spring.
- School Spirit at Hockey games
My high school was not known for school spirit. A lot of the time it was seen as embarrassing to participate in Spirit Week or to wear school colors to games. I didn’t even attend my first high school football game until my senior year homecoming.
The school spirit at UMass (the hockey games especially) is absolutely wild. The crowd is decked out in white and maroon, the student section is a united force in screaming chants, and there is an indescribable buzz in the room. Moments like these remind me that I have chosen the best university possible for myself.
- The hills on the horizon
When I am hustling to class or feeling stressed on my return back to my room, I remind myself, every once in a while, to appreciate the wider perspective. UMass’s landscape is so beautiful. The rolling hills are full of trees and life and the sunset behind them is one of the most amazing things to watch. When staring at them, I can’t help but think of how spectacular the world is and how little time I spend appreciating it.
- My Walk to class
There is nothing I dread more than having to go to class when I am exhausted or when I have to abandon my work when I finally found a rhythm. Recently, however, I have been starting to appreciate my walk to class. Students are bustling and talking. We’re all going to or leaving class. We’re all working hard towards our degrees. It’s easy to feel alone, but the walk to class reminds me of the incredible community that exists at UMass.
- Seeing my roommates when I return home
After a long day, returning to my dorm and seeing my roommates is the best thing possible. I see them every day (after all, I live with them), but a bad mood can instantly switch when one of them says “Hi! How was your day?” There is so much love in such a small gesture, and I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life. I love my friends, and I am forever grateful for their existence.
I think we all forget how beautiful the world is every once in a while, but I truly encourage taking a moment to appreciate the billions of small things that we should all be grateful for and appreciate. Embrace “casual magic.”