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

Let’s face it: life is messy. It has its hard moments, dark times, its rainy days and sad bits. And while life is also sure to be full of happiness and good times too, sometimes it’s hard to appreciate those through the negatives. So when you feel like you’re drowning in the bad stuff, I encourage you to romanticize the little things. 

What do I mean by this? I mean find the good in everything. Appreciate your morning walk to campus; play the perfect music as you walk along, and call it the soundtrack to your life. Marvel at the way the sun filters into your room every single golden hour. Write down your favorite quotes, and recite them when you feel like it. Photograph your coffee and everything else you find pretty or pleasing for that matter. Take pride in your perfectly painted nails with your perfectly placed ring on each finger. Get caught in the rain and enjoy it. Find joy in the uniqueness of your face and body, in the smattering of freckles on your nose. Convince yourself that you are golden, and that your youth is beautiful, because you are and it is.

No, life is not a romantic movie. And sure, maybe acting like it is one is a little naive – or a lot. But do it anyway. There is absolutely nothing wrong with finding positives in the imperfections. It’ll give you an appreciation for the ordinary and help you find the magic in even the dullest of days. So change your thinking wherever you can, about life as a whole and about yourself.

Romanticizing your life will not solve all your problems or fix the imperfections. But it might bring you some excitement when things seem mundane. Maybe you’ll start looking forward to getting out of bed every day when you start listening to the birds chirping, and appreciating how dreamy the remnants of the moon look in the morning sky. Maybe you won’t feel embarrassed while crying about something seemingly stupid when you can appreciate the beauty in your vulnerability. Maybe your late night grocery run won’t seem as exhausting when you can admire how aesthetically pleasing the empty aisles are.

No, this won’t apply to every single thing in your life; don’t romanticize sadness or toxicity. But make an effort to find the good and view it as even better. This is how you’ll start living life to the fullest – when even the simplest of things can spark joy.

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Maria Arvanitis

U Mass Amherst '19

Maria is a senior studying psychology and English at UMass Amherst. She has a passion for traveling, animals, and 80s movies, and her hair color is always changing. Find her on Instagram: @m.ria
Contributors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst