How To Stay Optimistic At This Point In the Year

By Flyby Blog

As I write from the exam room of Urgent Care, icing my nearly fractured pinky toe after my laptop fell on it while doing a pset, I’m left questioning whether I will make it through this semester. Not just physically. You’re probably feeling the same way as we embark on the next round of midterms (I’m sorry but if a class has three midterms a semester they are NO LONGER considered midterms). But as my toe will eventually heal, we must tell ourselves that so will the wounds from this semester.

Look at everything as a learning experience

A mentality thing: if you view all of your obstacles as hurdles you need to jump over to “grow as a person,” having these issues won’t seem as stressful, but rather important for your self-growth. That sounds legit enough, right?

A little bit of stress is okay

My philosophy is “everything in moderation”...ideally. A little bit of stress can go a long way in motivating you and making you look forward to things in the future, so embrace that. “But how am I supposed to live in the moment?” you may ask. We Harvard students especially need to realize that we can — shocker! — appreciate the “now” and also be excited about the good in store for us.

Prioritize your health

Definitely easier said than done, but once you start realizing that nothing matters as much as getting enough sleep, eating right, exercise, and a generally stable immune system, academics and grades as a whole start to feel less consequential. Sadly this doesn’t apply to pre-meds.

Find something you love to do for YOU

Don’t kid yourself: you’re a Harvard student and more likely than not you’re in extracurriculars just for the leadership position or to build your resume. This makes it easy to start treating commitments like chores. And there goes your motivation and morale! Find something on campus that you’re passionate about or you just find relaxing, whether that’s a group of people on campus, or a sport, that you don’t need to add to your resume. That way you know you’re actually doing something for your happiness.

There’s always next semester…

Next semester we obviously won’t be taking the same classes anymore. You’ve lived and you’ve learned and next semester is a clean slate. Whether it’s that you no longer have to take a three-pset-a-week math class just to fulfill your concentration’s math requirement, or that you no longer have to go to those pointless lectures for your pointless gen-ed, there’s a light at the end of the if we aren’t going to regret our class choices next semester, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

DISCLAIMER: Even though writing this was therapeutic for myself, I’M NOT A THERAPIST so don’t take my advice as the Word of God. But I hope you join me on my journey to ~positivity~ and ~optimism~.

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