I’ve had a few good discussions over the last few weeks about negativity–the concept itself, people that seem consumed by it, and how it affects us individually and our relationships with other people. It seems that college can be a breeding ground for negative thinking. With all our stresses and pressures put on us by ourselves and others, it often leads us to feeling inadequate, unaccomplished, stressed out and fed up. It drives us to have a negative outlook; we become focused only on the bad things in our life, and no longer celebrate the good.
I’m reading a book called Succulent Wild Woman by SARK, and loved the quotation I stumbled upon the other day: “The negative can be so seductive. You can usually find someone to spend time being critical, judgmental, or dark with,” or maybe better known as ‘Misery loves company.’ Are the people in your life encouraging your negativity? Or are they empowering you to move beyond your struggles and take action? We’re at an awesome stage in our lives as college students: we have lots of resources, we are allowed to make mistakes, and we are supported by a network of experienced people willing to help us learn and grow. Yet if we cannot step beyond the things that are stressing us out, we keep ourselves trapped.
I challenge you to asses your situation. We’re coming to the end of the semester, finals breathing down our necks. How will you approach them? Make a point to not complain–after all, we all have finals this next week, we’re in college right? Keep your conversations with your friends happy and light. Don’t use them to talk about negative topics – that will only increase your stress level when you’re trying to take a break!
If we take time to nurture positive relationships with both others and ourselves, we will lead more fulfilling lives. Let’s learn this lesson now so we can continue to celebrate life for years to come.
Courtney Cerniglia is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point majoring in business administration and Spanish.