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Some days can be… rough. The overwhelming burden of unfinished assignments, imminent exams, and just life itself is one which is all too familiar to college students. Without realizing it, we create this parasitic web that traps us, and each time we say “I’m fine. I can keep going,” we add another commitment to our plate. To avoid getting lost in the midst of life’s stresses and losing sight of true contentment, I’ve created a list of my five favorite habits for happiness. Although these habits have not completely solved my problems, they’ve helped me put things into perspective. Along the way, I’ve found immense joy in the small things.  

#1: Watch the sunset. 

You can go on a walk or just sit and stare at the sky. Watching the hues of color merge and intertwine at sunset is truly a spectacle. Just staring at the clouds that envelope you will also make you and your problems feel much smaller. 

#2: Tell someone you love them.

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As someone that really hates being vulnerable, this was the last thing I thought would make me happy. Yet, it is a happiness habit that has helped me so much. Although it may feel daunting and awkward, I urge you to tell someone you love them. Call an old friend, family member, significant other, or anyone that makes you smile. Not only will this make the other person feel special, but it will remind you that you have people who will support you through life's ups and downs. 

#3: Walk in the rain. 

Sometimes embracing the chaos in your head in a very literal way can really help. When I’m having a terrible day and there's a thunderstorm, I just stand outside in the rain. It’s a very cathartic experience that makes the hairs on my arm tingle in a way few other things can. 

#4: Take long drives with good music. 

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Make a Spotify playlist and just go for a drive (or make a family member or friend drive you, which is even better). Watching the beautiful scenery accompanied with “good vibe tunes” will really elevate your mood and provide a great distraction from your worries. 

#5: Say thank you. 

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to just say thank you. There are people and things that have brought you to where you are. By taking the time to recognize and appreciate them, you will really help put any worries into perspective. 

I want to stress that the strategies which work best for me may not work for you. If anything, just take the time to find out what truly makes you happy and make sure to give yourself enough time to pursue those things. Happiness is something that everyone deserves and should pursue. We just have to take it one day at a time. There is nothing that a happy mind cannot achieve.

Molisha Shah

UC Berkeley '24

Molisha is currently a freshman at UC Berkeley intending to double major in Cognitive Science and Business Administration. In her free time, she loves painting, listening to music, watching sunrises, and dancing when nobody is watching.
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