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During dead week, Parks Library is definitely the busiest place on campus. Students filter in and out all day trying to utilize the last bit of time to study before finals.

When we are in times of need of a helpful word, I’m sure some of us — if not all — have recalled a moment where we have received some of the most impactful advice that has stuck with us in our darkest moments. It is only natural to recall such words of encouragement. However, helpful advice doesn’t always mean we are at a low point in our life. A helpful word coming from a close friend or anyone else for that matter could function as a way for us to stay motivated and look at the better side of things.

Throughout many of the ups and downs I have experienced in my life, I have received an abundant amount of advice from people that I will always be eternally thankful for. But, there are two pieces of advice in particular that have helped me more times than I can count, and I have no doubt they will continue to do so in the future.

First, don’t stress about what you cannot change. Easier said than done, right? As if stress was a simple switch that you could turn off and be done with whenever you want. I remember feeling a bit annoyed and frustrated when I first received this piece of advice. Despite my annoyance at the time, deep down the advice made sense to me. 

When all is said and done, what is stressing about it going to change Especially now the fall semester is about to begin, it is important to keep in mind what things we can and cannot control when it comes to assignments, exams and schedules.

The other piece of advice that has helped me — and I hope can help others — is to take one day at a time. We may have a detailed plan and prediction of where we aim to end up, but who’s to say we won’t be forced to take a detour in our plan? Though you’re bound to face challenges throughout your path, that doesn’t mean your goals have become un-achievable. 

When you begin to feel overwhelmed with all that is going on in your life, don’t start thinking about all the worst case scenarios or how you can’t do it. Pause for a moment and think about what you need to do for yourself at that point in time. This includes taking care of yourself too, not just your to-do list. At the end of the day, you will get to where you need to be.

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(1) comment

Steve Gregg

Melanie, Epictetus put it a different way: Focus on what you can change and ignore what you can not. Working to change what you can to improve your circumstances is uplifting, while obsessing over what you can not is depressing.

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