With movies such as Old School and Animal House, it is no wonder students expect college to be one big party playground.
However, the question remains whether hangovers and failing grades are truly a source of satisfaction. But if partying and hanging out with your friends isn’t where happiness is found, where else should you look?
Before chugging some orange juice and falling back asleep until 10 p.m., you wonder; “What does it really take to be a happy college student in today’s society?”
Education: Find happiness in the classroom
You know the classes are more difficult than high school, so how do you cope?
The thing to remember here is that while you are struggling to keep up with your professor’s confusing college jargon, the person sitting next to you is scratching his head along with you.
Buddy up! Take the advice your mother has been feeding you since pre-K and make some friends. In college, more than any other time, you are going to need a support system of friends and peers to get you through your classes with your sanity in tact.
When the course load gets heavier (which it never fails to do), you are going to need a friend to help interpret what the professor was saying while you were thinking about how much your head hurts.
And please do not fear your professor. He/she may seem intimidating in class, but that is because your professor has a vast range of knowledge in this particular subject and is probably very passionate when speaking. Use those office hours and at the end of the semester your professor will consider your effort when deciding between an ‘A-‘ and an ‘A’.
Receiving good grades equals personal satisfaction and fulfillment. What does this mean for your level of happiness? A boost of self-esteem and positive energy that will inevitably lift your mood and get you through the semester.
Campus Life: Find happiness on campus
Outside of the classroom, you should remember to enjoy campus life. You have more freedom you have ever had in your life, so now is your chance to explore and discover.
Join a club/organization
If there is a club you feared joining in high school because you didn’t have any friends to accompany you, sign up your freshman year and dive in face first.
The great thing about your first year on campus is that everyone is lonely and no one belongs to a clique yet.
What does this mean for you? There will be no better time to strike up a conversation with the quiet student beside you or the person leading the class discussion.
If you are involved in campus life, not only will your school spirit be strengthened, but you will avoid being lost in the mass of undergrads around you and feel a sense of belonging within the community. Feeling like you belong somewhere will reinforce the positive feelings you have about your school and instead of looking forward to winter break, you won’t want to leave!
Pick & Choose: Find happiness in your major
When the day comes to decide your major, make sure you are passionate about the subject. If you choose a major solely because you believe it will offer you the best career, you are setting yourself up to be miserable.
Those who enjoy the courses they are taking will naturally put forth more energy into their work and in turn get better grades and obtain jobs more easily. Remember, your major is never set in stone. There is always the option to switch to another area that will bring more joy to your life.
The secret to being happy in college? It’s all up to you!
You are the only one responsible for getting involved with activities you love and getting the grades that will put you where you want to be after graduation. The more effort you put forth into finding happiness in college, the more positive energy, people and situations will be brought into your life.