Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Wellness > Mental Health

How Romanticizing Everything Changed My Life For The Better

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 UCF chapter.

In my experience, life is like this: some days are filled with incredible, life (or at least day)-altering moments that stick with us for more than a fleeting minute. We realize something profound when we witness the birth of a family member. We feel like we’re in a movie when we watch the sunset on a beach with a new lover. We scream for joy and feel a sense of complete ecstasy when we attend our favorite artist’s concert. 

And then there are days and days when nothing exciting seems to happen at all. Some days even feel downright awful when nothing seems to go right. The mundane days are far more common than the exciting ones, and one night I realized that I had a magic power to make those boring, blasé days sparkle. I could even turn the bad days around into something worth holding on to. I’m happy to report that we all have this ability — I’m here to tell you how romanticizing everything changed my life for the better, so you can change yours, too.

Kayla Bacon-Carefree Fall 2
Kayla Bacon / Her Campus

One night, laying in bed, upset by the fact that nothing exciting ever seemed to happen to me, I questioned myself: what counts as something “exciting?” And why can’t the things I pass by every day without a second thought (or even, sometimes, a single thought) be the sort of day-changing events I long for? 

The next day, on my way to class, I vowed to be more alert and accepting of anything that happened to me, anything I was privileged enough to witness. The sky was gray, and it had been drizzling all morning. The fact that I forgot my umbrella was an inconvenience at first, and then I tilted up my face and enjoyed the feeling of the drops pattering on my skin. Then, I looked down to see a snail scooting across the sidewalk, enjoying the wetness. What a joy it was to experience something that made that snail’s day so wonderful. I snapped a quick picture and went on my way with a smile. 

A huge part of romanticizing life is about appreciating the smallest things and feeling empathy for other people and creatures. I’ve found that when I put myself out of my own head and into others’ joy and experiences, I feel it, too. But romanticizing life isn’t just about the ups — it’s also about embracing the downs.

Even something as crushing as rejection can be something worth celebrating and holding space for. Getting accepted into my dream graduate school program was a lofty goal and one I didn’t achieve. But even that was something I could romanticize — after all, I believe that every rejection makes room for something more beautiful, something meant for you. So, I held space for the heartbreak of that rejection, the dashing of that hope I held for so long, and I reminded myself that everything builds my story. So much of romanticizing life, I’ve found, is gratitude. And it’s so important not to confuse romanticization with eternal positivity — there’s beauty in the things that hurt to feel, too. 

It’s been years, for me, of trying every day to romanticize my life, and I can say with confidence that it’s changed my life for the better. I see myself being more patient than ever and feeling grateful for things that would’ve once made me spiral. What I mean to leave you with is this: the act of romanticizing your life means embracing all aspects of it, including the hurt. When we embrace the things that feel undesirable, we can grasp the fullness of life. And when we spend every day open to the beauty of mundanity, we realize that nothing is truly mundane. 

These small shifts in perspective take practice, but with time they can be so transformative. I’m not the person I was before I adopted this mindset, and I wouldn’t want to be. I hope you can experience the peace this perspective offers, too.

Emily is a graduate student at UCF earning her MFA in poetry. She has lived in Orlando, Florida for the past 3 years with her partner and cat. When not writing or editing, she can be found playing the Sims and eating frozen pizza.