Its not surprising that many students in college are unhappy. College can be a very difficult time in the lives of students as they have to figure out what kind of people they want to associate with, what major they want to choose, and even what they want to do when they grow up. Constant parental pressure always affects their decision-making and their future success is always framed in terms of power, prestige, and money.
However happiness never seems to be part of the equation. Happiness is something that is always put on the side, something that can be attained later. It is even seen as something quite childish, as children strive for happiness while adults strive for authority and respect.
Happiness is always seen as a destination or goal in life rather than something than can be attained in the present. How many times have you heard from your parents that as long as you suffer a bit now, you can definitely be happy later? Although this statement has some truth as studying hard in school can be tough, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be miserable while in school and studying. However we shouldn’t be confused to think that it is acceptable to simply suck away all of our life’s passion while we are young in lieu of studying.
We must quit having this mentality that we can sacrifice our own self-happiness in the present to be happy in the future. It simply doesn’t work that way. It is a destructive cycle in which we constantly always put work in front of our own happiness and always push happiness further and further away.
Let’s say that you finally do get that great job that you have been working your tail off for. Now do you truly give yourself the time and energy to be happy? Or do you continue to strive to get more promotions with higher pay and position? Happiness thus continues to get further pushed away and when we are lying on our death beds, we wonder why we never felt fully satisfied with life.
We must concentrate on being happy now. The key to happiness is to live a balanced life that stresses both work and self-enjoyment at the same time. Neither is inherently more important than the other. They are both important equally in their own respectable ways. But think about all the times that we easily let work take over our own personal enjoyment and happiness. Think about all the times that you pushed away your friends in order in the name of school or work. Think about that one time that you had to miss your good friend’s birthday party because you had a midterm or a final to study for.
As important as school and work is, it is not more important than your friends or family. Are those two hours that you spend at your friend’s birthday truly going to change the outcome of your test by an entire letter grade? When you say that you are going to dedicate an entire day to studying and nothing else, do you truly spend the entire day studying? Or do you find yourself getting distracted and going on Facebook for hours on end anyways?
We must seek balance in our lives and see personal happiness as important as everything else in our college lives. Make time to meet your friends regardless of how busy you are. People always make the excuse that “I am too busy.” That is a load of crap. Anybody can make time if they truly put their minds to it and prioritize it. Make time to pick up that one instrument, sport, or art you have been meaning to start. Make time to check out that club that you’ve been interested in.
When you look back on your college experiences and reflect, are you going to remember that one final you aced or the time spent with your friends and loved ones?
So remember, there is no reason why you can’t be happy now. Happiness is available right in front of our faces; it is simply a matter of whether we want to make ourselves available to it.