Glass Half Full: How to Stay Optimistic

Staying positive for yourself and others is crucial when growing older and gaining more life experiences. Not everything you do in life will be a walk in the park. It is important to try and stay optimistic through trials and tribulation.

I try to stay positive by owning my mistakes and reminding myself that no suffering lasts forever. Excepting that everything in life is transient has helped me through many hard times. When going through a period of sadness or pain I try to remind myself that it will soon pass.

Once I came to terms with this idea, I shared it with my friends who came to me in sadness or stress. When I noticed that the advice comforted them I realize that it wasn’t just something I needed to know, but that others needed to hear.

Another aspect of life that can tremendously impact your positivity is the people you surround yourself with. In high school, I put up with people I couldn’t stand to be around because I felt I had little option.

In college, I had the opportunity to meet new, kind people and I realized I didn’t have to tolerate people like I did in high school.

Now, if I don’t appreciate someone’s attitude or constant pessimism I simply choose not to be around them.IMG_0363

Surround yourself with people that help you grow and your glass will forever be half full.

For more like this check out:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marlo-thomas/12-tips-for-staying-optimistic_b_3611951.html

 

 

Roommates: Can’t Live with them, Can’t live without them

The biggest lesson I have taken from having roommates is to speak up! No issue can be resolved if the other party doesn’t know there is an issue.

If something your roommate does bothers you they may never know to change it unless you tell them.

All my roommates, just like many college students, have started out as complete strangerfullsizeoutput_69s. This can easily cause tension if you are not compatible living partners.

Speaking up is the only way to make a change if you are unhappy with their behavior. It may not fix everything, but it is important to keep an open line of communication.

But pick your battles! Try not to come off as forceful or controlling. If it turns out that your new roommate is not very open to your requests do not make more conflict. It will only backfire and probably intensify the behavior.

If you hate how they leave their dishes in the sink forever or never take out the trash, mention it politely. If their behavior still doesn’t change, consider taking a more serious tone or make it a point to remind them. If this doesn’t work, try dropping the topic for a few weeks and then reintroducing the idea.

Even if your roommates end up being your friends it can still be awkward to confront them. Most of the time, people don’t even realize the habits they have might be upsetting.

The only way to live harmoniously with another person is if you define boundaries and communicate.

For more of this topic check out:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/augustafalletta/how-to-live-with-roommates?utm_term=.cuvzNe6Zz#.cf97erDb7

Distance Doesn’t Always Make the Heart Grow Fonder: Long Distance Relationships

There are huge generalizations made about long distance relationships, but the truth is they are all different. Distance can have a different affect on all types of relationships.

College students, in particular, are in a unique situation in which they are not fully mature, but act societally as adults. There is often a lot more pressure on their relationships because of uncertainty and lack of confidence.
fullsizeoutput_18Personally, I have experience in a long distance relationship. Mine happened to be with an active duty Marine. Most of our relationship was spent upward of 1,700 miles apart.

We were quite happy together and the reason we broke up had nothing to do with the distance. We simply realized our futures didn’t align and we were better off as friends.

However, long distance relationships are not something to take lightly. They often end because one, or both parties, are unsatisfied or loose trust.

I would suggest that those attempting to have a long distance relationship prepare for the extra work it will take and the change in routine.

If you go from spending hours a day with your significant other to not seeing them for 2 months, you will be surprised by how much it will affect you.

Recently, I have had to be there for two of my friends as they learn how to function in a long distance relationship. They often look to me for sympathy and advice because of my experience.

The have found that the most crucial thing in a long distance relationship is the level of commitment from both parties and the strength of their affection. Distance will always bring out a couple’s issues and insecurities, so the more mature their relationship is the better chance they have of succeeding.

For more on this topic check out:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/candicedarden/best-tips-for-surviving-a-long-distance-relationsh?utm_term=.ywvzV3rdz#.gjXYrpnqY

Sometimes A Girl Just Needs Her Mom

My mother and I had a typical relationship during my early teens. We would constantly argue and I had little to no appreciation for the things she did for me.

After an explosive fight when I was about 14 years old I had a realization about the type of relationship I wanted to have with my mother. It was the first time I saw her cry because of something I said. In that moment, I knew I had been taking advantage of my mom’s hard work and love for years.12-14-2005 8-19-48 PM_0082

My mother had always seemed sort of a mystery to me growing up. I depended on her and loved her so much, but had no idea who my mom was beyond her role as my mother.

Following a series of heart to heart talks I started to see my mother in a different light. I had always looked up to her, but now I felt like I really saw her for all that she was.

She is smart, confident and more accomplished than I ever imagined. I learned about many of her life experiences and the success she had before I was born.

The more we talked like friends the more I realize how alike we are. Now, instead of rolling my eyes when I hear “you are just like your mother,” I see it as a huge compliment.

The more open I was with my mother the stronger our bond grew. We are now closer than I ever hoped we would be.

I know as a young girl it is sometimes hard to appreciate all you have in a mother. However, by stepping back and observing your mother outside her role as your mom, you can begin to see them for more of who they are.

My mother is the most selfless person I know, not just in her role as a mom, but in everything she does. I am always told what an thoughtful, kind and giving mother I have and it makes me want to be just like her.

It is important to also grow out of the conflict stage with parents. A healthy relationship with your mother or father can be instrumental in your life as you grow older.

For more on this topic check out:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/15-insights-on-improving-mother-daughter-relationships/

Professional Third Wheel

I have never been someone who whines about not having a boyfriend. In fact, I really enjoy being single. However, a few weeks ago, I may not have given the same answer.

It seemed as if everyone around me was living in relationship bliss as I was on my third rejection in a past five months.

Keep in mind, I hadn’t just been rejecteimg_1519d in the wake of a first date. I had poured time and effort into these men, only to come to the conclusion that I just wasn’t enough for them.

During that time, three of my closest friends had gotten into new relationships.

As happy as I was for them, listening to their sweet stories and seeing them gawk over their new found romance was excruciating. I would roll my eyes and make jokes about how it nauseated me, but I don’t think they ever realized just how much I meant it.

I had become, what I like to call, a professional third wheel. I even considered adding it to my resume.

I had to tag along to meals, movies and parties, always looking like the awkward cousin no one wanted to acknowledge.

Ultimately, I learned a huge lesson from the weeks that followed.

I started to get comfortable with the changes that were occurring in my relationships with my friends. I knew they weren’t going to be around as much, they had someone else to confide in, and I soon accepted that.

Their boyfriends also started to accept my role in their lives, which made being around them as a couple more enjoyable.

I stopped resenting them for having something I didn’t. I now look forward to experiencing the happiness they have, when the time is right for me.

For more on this topic:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201401/learning-love-not-fear-being-single

Best Intentions: Giving Advice to Friends

There is no perfect way to give advice to a friend. It can be challenging to want to help a friend while also being honest and sensitive to their feelings.

I am definitely guilty of speaking out of turn when trying to help a friend. I have always been told not to give unsolicited advice, and in most circumstances, I believe that to be the right thing.

The hard choice comes when you are feel the need to speak up on a potentially sensitive situation without directly being asked for your input.

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Often, even when a friend directly asks for your input, all they really  want is someone to listen.  It is important to recognize the difference and know when to speak up.

For example, a friend of yours is starting to see a guy who you do not think is good for her. Often, we are blinded by the prospect of a new love interest and cannot see his or her faults, even the big ones.

This is an situation that I would approach with caution.

I usually start with sharing my observations and trying to be as impartial as possible. Afterwards, listen to what your friend has to say in response. This will usually give you a good idea of how receptive they will be to your advice.

It is important to let your friend know that you will be there for them no matter what decision they make, even if they do not take your advice.

Always be sensitive to their feelings and make sure they know these are just your thoughts on the situation. You can only do so much to help someone, but it is up to them whether they except that help.

For more advice on giving advice:

http://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/relationships/article/5-tips-for-giving-advice-to-your-friends

Eating Healthy in College: It’s Easier Than You Think

There is a huge learning curve when first leaving home and your mother’s grocery shopping.

Going to the grocery store alone is intimidating and you will only get about 20 percent of what you came for. That is when you will realize that grocery lists aren’t just for soccer moms.

The key is learning to shop for one person. Find the right amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that you will eat before they expire.

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Convenience is another important aspect when shopping for food in college. When at the store look for healthy options on the go. Energy bars, single serving cheese, and fruits like bananas or apples are all great options.

Cooking in college can also seem like a large undertaking, but preparing a meal for the rest of the week saves time and allows for more well rounded meals. Making salads ahead of time is also a good way to get vegetables in your diet.

One of the best ways to eat healthy, while also saving money, is to avoid eating out at restaurants. It is hard to make healthy choices off menus and can get expensive.

Stay away from sugary beverages and stick to drinking lots of water!

No one expects a college student to have a perfectly balanced diet, but if you stay away from overly processed foods and sugar you are doing better than most.

For more on making healthy choices in college check out:

http://youngwomenshealth.org/2012/02/22/eating-and-fitness-in-college/

Stop, Drop, and Relax: Tips for Time Management

Everyone has heard the infamous stories of college all night study sessions, caffeine binges, and the heartbreaking feeling of still receiving an F. Although these stories are often true, the key to avoiding these stressful situations is to stay consistent though out the semester and manage your time wisely.img_236379-this-oneIn order to keep up with school work and minimize stress:

  1. Use a calendar
  2. Reference syllabi often
  3. Figure out a way of studying that works for you

It wasn’t until college that I realized the full advantages of having a calendar. When taking about 15 hours a semester, there is always work to do and items to turn in. Without seeing them all displayed chronologically it is easy to slip up and forget course work.

Similarly, it is imperative that you not only read the entire syllabus but that you continue to reference it throughout the semester. Often professors will not remind you of certain class policies that can have a large impact on your grade, such as attendance.

What’s more, one of the most common mistakes made by freshmen is their lack of study habits. It is vital that you figure out what techniques help you retain and learn information best. Also, having productive and compatible study partners can make all the difference when it comes to managing your time.

However, sometimes stress is unavoidable and in those circumstances the best thing to do it take a deep breath, step back and look at the bigger picture.  It is important to remember your life is not ruined because you forgot one homework assignment.

For more on this topic check out:

https://www.ecpi.edu/blog/top-10-effective-study-habits-college-students