By Jonathan Amanatidis, Residence Advisor
First things first, this article is not the golden ticket that will make all your worries go away, nor is it advice on how to live awesomely. However, it should give you a couple tools you can apply to making your own life at least a little better.
Whenever I’m in a rough patch, I take a giant step back and look at my life. Specifically, I look for what sucks, when it started sucking, and how my life was different when it didn’t suck. Doing this usually helps me isolate the things that are causing me problems. Sometimes, it’s things I can control – like spending too many late nights on Facebook and Wikipedia (medieval chairs are fascinating, check ‘em out next time you’re up at 3:30) that leave me exhausted and in a bad mood the next day. Sometimes, it’s things I can’t control, like a class that’s way more intense than I thought, or feeling homesick. When I have the ability to do something to make life better, I try a couple different strategies until I find one that works. When I can’t control it, I’ve learned to grit my teeth and get through that last final, knowing that the situation will improve eventually all on its own. When things don’t improve after awhile, serious lifestyle changes may be in order; maybe I can’t handle that fifth class next term, or maybe it’s time to stop going to the Granville strip every Friday/Saturday.
When the going is good, though, don’t just bask in the sunshine. Take notes: why are you waking up with that huge grin on your face every morning? Is it because of all those dates you’ve had lately, or are you just happy to be caught up with all your reading/homework? Doing this always helps me establish my priorities, because when you know what makes you happy, you’re more likely to notice what’s missing when the days drag on. And when the going is rough, you’ll have a better idea of what is actually going to pull you out of your rut.