The last two weeks have been beyond crazy. I just finished my first year of college! It has been one of the most challenging, most rewarding, and most fun years of my life. Almost every second made me sure of my choice to choose Elizabethtown College as my home for these four years of my life. The college has a motto of “Educate for Service.” Going into the school I just thought that was a nice touch, but being an active student allows me to see the impact a college can make on their community and the communities around them in so many ways. There have been so many service trips, and although I haven’t been on all of them, I’ve had the opportunity to watch my friends go to Atlanta and next year watch my friends go to Peru and it makes my heart so happy. The service trips that I did participate in have changed my life and makes me excited for the opportunities next year.
Often people look for ways to make others happy and tend to forget about themselves. These past two weeks, I have had tears, stress, laughter, and happiness, but without looking maybe that happiness wouldn’t have been so strong. Having a positive outlook on everything can bring you joy in the times where you don’t think you can give even a second to that emotion. I’ll be honest, these past two weeks were hard and studying was not always easy, but during study breaks I looked for every piece of happiness I could find and it boosted my mood tremendously.
A lot of times pieces of happiness can be people. One of my good friends, Lucy, and I spent literally 20 straight hours together in the middle of finals week (yes, we did get some sleep!) She was a piece of happiness that kept me going strong for the rest of my finals. I also found pieces of happiness in writing all around the college. There was a positivity day recently so there were lots of encouraging quotes spread around the campus on sticky notes to make others positive. There were also two huge things that stuck out to me. At one point I sat down at a computer to print everything I needed to study for an exam. I was not exactly happy during that time and if anything, I was completely stressed. On the computer screen it said, “Have a great day!!” In that moment there was an amount of joy that rushed through me causing me to smile and forget about everything I had to do at least for that moment. It was something that took someone maybe 2 seconds to do that made my day way better. Another day, I went to the bathroom and saw a note that said, “you’re a lovely human.” I was also very stressed when I read this, and it was something that brought me joy too. It’s the little things that you can find and enjoy. Even someone holding the door open for you or saying "hi" is a piece of happiness that can turn your day around if you let it! Stress is just a feeling that can be overwhelmed by happiness if you just let happiness in.