I am sure you’ve heard the popular adage, “it’s all about MINDSET”. Well, it’s a very true one. Our thoughts lead to our actions and the habits we develop. You can actually choose the perspective you wish to take regarding the situations you undergo.
As a college student, you experience many events that can make you feel sad, hopeless or unsatisfied as you manage difficult or stressful courses, fellow college mates, friendships and romantic relationships all while navigating the complexities of your academic major, career path or self-perception. While your emotional reactions to those scenarios are valid, you get to decide on the viewpoint you will take in response to those matters. In all situations, I believe there is always a positive and forward-moving way for which you can think about every circumstance in your life. With this in mind, here are 8 mind shift strategies to consider if you wish to take on outlooks that can lead to your happiness and contentment as a college student:
#1. Before starting your day, ground yourself with gratitude. This helps to set your mindset on a positive start. So, every morning, think of 3 things for which you are grateful.
#2. It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. But choose to dwell on the things you are doing or have done correctly. I’m sure those positives outweigh your shortcomings. Besides, mistakes aren’t all that bad. After all, they do help us learn and grow.
#3. Classes are hard and life can be even more difficult. Just never give up on your goals. If you need a break, learn to rest, not quit.
#4. Despite the falsities the world may try to tell you, know that you are valuable, you are necessary and you are enough… no matter how many times you fail or get rejected. Actually, if you are not failing with some things, this indicates that aren’t really involved in much activity in your life. Failure is the classroom for success.
#5. Know that nothing in life is ever ‘that serious’. As long as you are alive, there is always an opportunity to learn from your hard experiences, change directions, or pursue an alternate route.
#6. Forgive yourself + others. You may feel guilty for something you did. That guilt is an indicator that you don’t want to repeat that mistake again. Your desire to change should give you solace in realizing that you are not a bad person. All humans are inherently flawed and mistakes will inevitably happen, so be prepared to forgive people and give second chances. Forgiveness frees you from harboring negative emotions about others and yourself.
#7. Strive for ‘better’, not ‘perfect’. I’m certain you know that humans can never be perfect, so allow your actions to match that of your understanding. Try to become a better version of yourself each day, but don’t try to be perfect. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation that leads to anxiety and discontentment. Embrace your difference as it leads to freedom.
#8. Appreciate your hardships. I know… it’s a bit of a provocative piece of advice, but here’s why you should find contentment in your challenges. If you are always comfortable in life, then you’re likely not growing. Real growth comes from discomfort and difficult situations. Emotional pains drive character development and resilience. Remembering these facts will keep you focused on the bigger picture. Hard times don’t last forever. You will survive your trials and reap the rewards that come from them.
How do you find happiness in college? Share your thoughts below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. IJ (Ijeoma Nwaogu, Ph.D) is the #1 College Life Coach and host of the YouTube Show, College Life on Fleek. Having served as an advisor, counselor and educator in college and university contexts, Dr. IJ is passionate about college student development. She enjoys coaching students who wish to maximize their potential and live thriving lives during their time in college and thereafter.