It happens all too quickly—one day it’s shorts and tank top temperatures here at Geneseo, the next day it’s time to pull out your jeans and sweaters and start bundling up for the brutal cold. The abrupt change in weather seems to show that nature knows when syllabus week is over and when it’s time to start working hard. Class intensity picks up, due dates that seemed so far away in the first week are quickly approaching and the new school year resolutions you made are already starting to deteriorate. The “honeymoon” phase of the semester may be over, but that doesn’t mean things have to start going downhill.
Positive psychology is a field of study that states that consciously keeping a positive frame of mind can help one to attain a more satisfactory life. There are multiple ways one can maintain an optimistic attitude with which they began the semester. By simply changing the way you think, you can regain the sparkle and shine that comes with the beginning of each new semester.
To start, identify your strengths and focus on them. In today’s society, many people are not used to or uncomfortable talking about what they feel they are good at. This issue results from the idea that most people focus on areas of weakness with goals of improving in those areas. If you fall into this category and struggle to identify your strengths, try asking yourself questions like, “When was the last time I succeeded?” or “What did I do this week that I was proud of?”
Additionally, be conscious of how you express gratitude. The people you surround yourself with often influence how you feel or act—at least on a day-to-day basis. When you stop taking everything for granted, you will begin to notice the little things those around you are doing and you will feel grateful more often. Expressing this gratitude—which can be as simple as thanking a friend for a kind act—is important as well. If you do this, you will start to feel better about yourself and those around you.
Indulge in your passions and find time for things that you enjoy. College can be overwhelming, but focusing on the positive side of things will help you to be more productive and happier overall.