Choose Gratitude

Approximate time reading this post: 3.5 minutes

Today is the only gift that you have right now. And the only appropriate response is gratefulness.
— TEDxSF "Gratitude" by Louie Shwartzberg

Oh hi there, it's been awhile. Hopefully you didn't think I completely lost hope in Monday's. It has been a crazy couple of weeks with the fall semester almost to an end. But it was nice to stop and get my thoughts together in between my last visit on HFM and this one. For this post I would like to talk about gratitude and the aspects of life that keep me grateful even in the chaos of college.

Last week I read the article, Gratitude Is Good For The Soul And Helps The Heart, Too,” that said one way to beat the blues (especially the Monday blues) is to remind yourself to be grateful for what you do have even if it can be irritating. And once you remind yourself of this it gets easier. The article talked about how choosing to be grateful can “fend off depression, stress, and anxiety,” according to Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. I have been practicing the idea of being grateful recently, especially after celebrating Thanksgiving this past weekend, and I feel noticeably happier about some aspects of my life.

One of the things I need to constantly remind myself to be grateful for is opportunities. The opportunity to actually go to college. That's a huge one because some people in this country and outside of it are unable to do so for multiple reasons. The opportunity to be involved in extracurriculars so easily without having to compete or campaign at a community college. The opportunity to have an internship at a real local magazines writing about things I love the most being student life, profile features, and opinion pieces. I feel like I have made the most of these opportunities that came my way but I still took them for granted sometimes. As my internship is coming to an end after this semester I am trying to keep the mindset of embracing my opportunity to be there.

For my internship, I recently wrote two of my favorite articles for The College Times which were profile features on my two dear friends, Geneva Patterson who has been a great friend of a little over two years and Bernie Crowley who I had the pleasure of meeting at LeaderShape.


Geneva’s feature, "Into The Desert: ASU Student Travels Beyond AZ Borders To Clear Her Head" can be found here and Bernie’s on the job feature, “Bernie Crowley On His Hot Job Controlling Blazes,” is on the College Times website as well, here. These two articles are without a doubt some of my favorite articles I have written so far. In the midst of what seems like constant failure, it is such a joy to produce something through your own writing and actually feel proud that someone else can flip to your page and learn something new, just as you did.

After interviewing my two inspiring friends, it seems that this whole journalism thing is really what I enjoy doing most. I have come to realize that writing profile features, which are articles surrounding an individual or a very small group of individuals like a band, is without a doubt my favorite type of article. I would love to continue writing profile pieces for the rest of my future career as a journalist. There is nothing like the opportunity of meeting someone new or getting to know someone, using all of their great quotes, hearing about their personal thoughts, and learning something new through the eyes of another. There’s that word again: opportunity.

Another aspect of gratitude I would like to express is the opportunity I have received the past few years to meet such incredible people and have endlessly real relationships with them. As my main friend group has been separated by academic decisions, it feels like nothing has changed when we are able to have a rare meetup. These wonderful individuals have been so willing to offer their support in tutoring, a good laugh, and overall a decent friendship. I have noticed that these real relationships I try to surround myself with don’t come with stress, anxiousness, or boundaries in conversation. I have truly grown to appreciate knowing wonderful people, no matter how often I do or don’t see them.

With that said, it’s a good reminder to practice gratitude in any personal and professional setting. Here are a few tips to feel grateful for the opportunities you are given whether they bring you academic stress or put money in your pockets:

  1. Remind yourself outloud why you are going through certain challenges to reach your goal: “Why you pursue something is equally as important as what you pursue.” All those good cliches of it’s not about the journey but the destination kind of thing.

  2. Look at the positive opportunities you have been given, no matter how much stress they cause you, and think about how they are currently and will help you.

  3. Note one good thing each day that you feel grateful for: It could be in a fancy journal, a Google Doc, or lodged in your memory.

  4. When you find yourself in a bad situation try to ask yourself “How can I learn from this?” “What can I do next time so that this doesn’t happen again?” “When I look back on this, what will I be grateful for?”

  5. Get involved in something you genuinely have passion for. In my opinion, involvement leads to passion, happiness, a better understanding of surroundings, and then gratitude.

Be hopeful, be grateful. It’s Monday, go celebrate!


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