By Beth Allard
It’s inevitable: if you have anywhere to get to in a hurry, the elevators in Le Fer are going to stop on every other floor at least twice before letting you on. Once you do get on, you may find yourself with about 15 seconds to talk to someone.
I make a habit of asking whoever’s in the elevator “Hey, how’s it going?” And I have gotten every response. “Good.” “Eh.” “Today sucks.” “Why?” (That one’s my favorite.) Sometimes, I get a core dump from a complete stranger about exactly who or what is making their day miserable. Strangely, I rarely get the opposite. It’s so much easier to say what is bad about our day, isn’t it?
One of the biggest challenges of dorm life is keeping a positive attitude. Living in such close quarters with 200+ girls is an exercise in patience, even if you are a seasoned Senior. Sometimes all it takes in one little glitch in a day to turn even the best of us into grouchy old women. And that old saying “Misery loves company”? Too true. Spend about five minutes at a lunch table, or a few seconds in an elevator.
We all know how fast conversations can turn to the complaints du jour. And they don’t go away once we feel better, either. Negativity has a way of sticking around and following us, and if we don’t address it, it becomes a way of life.
You may be wondering what this has to do with dorm life. Think about your closest friends, classmates, your roommate, that girl across the hall; how do you get along with them? Do you find it hard to get along? Do some of them “annoy” you?
I know from my personal experience that when I am annoyed at people in general, it’s usually because of my own cynical mindset. When I am holding one to a bad mood, every little thing annoys me, and in a dorm situation, there are a hundred little things to get annoyed at. How many of them are real issues, though?
How many times have you gotten really mad at an empty toilet paper roll, the girls next door’s loud laughter, or your roommate’s music and then wondered the next morning why on earth you were so touchy?
The biggest key to dorm life is perspective, and nothing skews perspective like being negative. Need some help being positive? Try these simple tricks:
• Stay away from pity parties. (They are not nearly as entertaining as they seem!)
• Don’t be afraid to be the positive person. Sometimes all a conversation needs is someone to say “Hey – today is a good day!”
• Instead of blaring your go-to bad day song, put on some fun dance music.
• Leave little notes or gifts for people anonymously, especially if you know they are having a bad day. You’ll make them smile, and feel pretty good yourself!
• Try and keep perspective. Next time you’re ready to spout off about something, stop and consider whether it’s worth it.
• Be thankful. I know, it’s cliché. But I promise, you have more to be thankful for than you realize!
Don’t let negativity take over your dorm life. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Instead of complaining, see what you can to make Le Fer life worth living.
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