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8 Things That Have Been Keeping Me Afloat Lately

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

It’s the little things that matter the most

With all the challenges that accompany the end of the semester—including senioritis, relationship hurdles, searching for internships and a place to live for the fall, and starting a new job—my life has been nothing short of stressful lately. I’ve had to dig especially deep to ground myself so that I don’t go insane (who can relate?). Grounding myself comes in many forms, including practicing mindfulness, remembering that I am only one person, understanding that my feet are on the ground and my fingers are typing on my laptop, knowing that I have something to look forward to later in the day, looking forward to planning my summer trip, and so on. In fact, I’ve found that it’s the simple things and exchanges throughout my day that do me the most good, and that’s why I want to share them with you.

1. A Scoop of Orange Custard Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Every UW student knows about this iconic Babcock flavor. Trust me; I know it sounds weird, but orange custard chocolate chip stays unmatched. Two weeks ago, I had this ice cream four nights in a row. In fact, I think I’ll go get a scoop tonight to brighten my spirits.

2. The Walk to Class

It wasn’t until I was a student at UW, walking to my classes on the daily, that I realized I romanticize life big-time. To be honest, this is probably something we all do. There is so much about campus and downtown Madison to take in and appreciate. It’s the music in my AirPods, the people, the traffic and especially the fresh air that create some immaculate city vibes. Walking to class is one of those things that can be a pain to think about, but once you’re doing it, you’re so happy you are (unless you have to walk up Bascom; then, I get it).

3. My Yellow “Good Morning, Sunshine” Mug

If I pull this sucker out of the cabinet and steep some chamomile tea in hot water, it’s going to be a swell day. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but my morning tea in this vibrant yellow mug makes all the difference in my mood. Not only that, but if I’m cold and my hands feel like they could use some winter gloves, my mug warms them right up. I am thankful for my morning mug.

4. Doodling With Colorful Pens

I don’t know about you, but a fresh set of beautiful PaperMate felt tip pastel pens makes my heart flutter with excitement. I’ve been getting these eager spurts of energy to whip out my pens and doodle whatever is on my mind or something that makes no sense, has no real shape, color or significance. That’s what’s so great about doodling — it doesn’t have to make sense and it’s done on your terms.

5. Running Into My Sister on Campus

I am blessed enough to be able to attend one year at UW with my little sister. Although she is a freshman and we don’t see each other very often, we happen to have the occasional run-in on our walks to and from classes. When I see her strolling up University Avenue, I simply grin like a mad woman. We always take a minute to step aside and talk about how our days are going. Needless to say, it’s the best minute of my day.

6. When Boba Sings to Me

You might be wondering who or what Boba is and whether it’s a food, a person or a pet. Boba is my two-year-old cockatiel who loves to sing when he’s happy or wants attention. My sister and I have been trying to teach Boba “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” by singing it to him every night at bedtime, but he definitely still needs practice. Whenever I venture home (which is almost every weekend lately because of my new job), seeing Boba brings me joy. Sometimes, we even sing together.

7. The Kardashians’ New TV Show

Keeping Up With the Kardashians (KUWTK) was always my guilty pleasure, but now I have no shame in my obsession. In fact, I could name the whole Kar-Jenner family tree if someone asked me to. Unfortunately, the family decided to bring their 20-season show to a close in June of 2021. However, they have since begun a new show called The Kardashians available on Hulu and Disney+. The show’s premiere was on April 14th this year and when I tell you I was excited… I cannot wait to keep watching every week. So far, I actually like the production much more than in KUWTK. Ultimately, this show is a little ray of sunshine for me to look forward to on Wednesdays!

8. Big Scrunchies

Putting my hair up in a bun of any form is always the vibe. However, since my hair is long, fine and thick, it is impossible to get buns to stay in with your typical ponytail or small scrunchie. Cue: big scrunchies. Not to be dramatic, but if I forget one of my big scrunchies when I go somewhere, it’s the end of the world. To prevent this catastrophe from happening, I keep one in each of my backpacks, my gym bag, purse, glove compartment and jacket pocket, among other miscellaneous places. My scrunchies give me life.

To conclude, I hope you enjoyed my list of what has been giving me life lately, in no particular order. This article is an important reminder to myself to stop, breathe, take a step back and reflect on all the little things that bring me joy when needed. This kind of mindset will keep me sane and allow me to live my best life. After all, life is not meant to be just stressful and chaotic. Life should also feel like yellow coffee mugs, pastel pens and orange custard chocolate chip ice cream.

Hope Nelson

Wisconsin '22

Hi! I'm a senior at UW-Madison majoring in Life Sciences Communication. My true passion lies in educating and engaging with others in conversation about diet culture. If you need me, you can find me listening to The Weeknd, petting dogs, or eating a generous bowl of moose tracks ice cream.