I’ve been a right moody cow recently.
If you’re a student right now, you probably understand. It’s the beginning of the semester’s end; deadlines and exams are looming and everything feels awful. Everyone I speak to at the moment is “oh, y’know, slowly dying”. It’s just that time of year.
Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. My favourite thing about this time of year at uni is how we all band together. The amount of encouragement I’ve been gifted by my fellow Glendonites is incredible: from encouraging messages, offers of hot chocolate and movie nights to hand squeezes and comforting chats in Lunik, we look after each other.
We’re all going through the mill right now, but we’re going through it together. We’re Getting It Done. Doing The Thing. Something else I’ve been doing this year is gratitude lists. I’m trying to practice journaling more consistently this year, and sometimes I’ll add a list of things I’m grateful for. Even on my worst days, weeks, and months, I always find at least ten things to write down. I’ve found that the more gratitude lists I write, the easier it gets. As I go on, it gets easier and easier to find things to be grateful for. It lifts my mood, lessens my anxiety and depression, and helps me recalibrate.
All this to say, we could all use some extra positivity right now. Here’s a gratitude list for the last few weeks:
Things To Be Grateful For:
- I finally re-enrolled with the disability centre, which gives me support for when my health makes it hard to do the whole Academia thing. It’s helped me open up my communication with my profs, manage my schoolwork, and stay calm. I’m working on a blog post about this, so stay tuned.
- My wonderful friend Janu gave an empowering, inspirational, and utterly moving presentation on authentic storytelling at the November eAmbassador Inservice. She’s incredible. Go read her blog.
- The campus is like… really beautiful. We all know it, but I’ve been noticing it more. Glendon is a real stunner.
- I was having a really bad pain day on Thursday and at least four people hugged me, sent messages of encouragement and reminded me that the community has my back.
- I have a job that lets me use my skills and passions. I get to work with and learn from some of the coolest creative people in the business.
- My profs are not only smart, funny, and interesting – they’re compassionate and helpful. They love what they do.
- A passionate conversation about bananas broke out in one of my lectures and it made me laugh.
- Also, a passionate conversation about the drastic necessity of diversity in language, culture, and the environment. (Same class).
- I’m never the smartest person in the room. That means there is always so much to gain, so many people to learn from.
- I’ve mastered the art of feeling like I’m wearing pyjamas without looking like I am.
- My boyfriend knows that I’ve been finding it hard to get out of bed recently, so he rings me in the morning to make sure that I’m up on time (read: pep-talk me out of bed).
- My mum made me soup to help me feel better and reminded me to take my vitamins.
- I love Toronto so, so much. I love living and studying here, and for the first time in my life, I’m content to stay here for the foreseeable future.
- One of my best and oldest friends messaged me from across an ocean to talk about Bob’s Burgers, PhD applications, and spending 3 hours cooking amazing food despite being the busiest and most successful student I know.
- Another old friend messaged out of the blue to say she loved me and it made me cry because it was exactly what I needed to hear.
- Now that I think about it, I am blessed with so many friends who reach out across time and distance. Why do I waste so much time feeling lonely?
- Christmas, my favourite holiday, is just around the corner!
- I took a selfie with no makeup and no filter a couple of weeks ago, and I posted it on Instagram because I felt cute for the first time in months. I’d forgotten what it felt like to feel happy and confident in my appearance, and sharing it made me feel so much more so.
- My pet bun runs to me when she sees me.
- Melatonin tablets are helping me sort my insomnia out (mostly. I’m writing this at 5am, but everyone slips up once in a while).
If you, like me, have been stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed lately, have a go at a gratitude list. I’ve been feeling like a piece of mouldy bread all week, and I already feel so much better. If you look hard enough, there’s so much good to be found in life… even in exam season, even in the face of hardship. The smallest of joys still count for something.
And lastly, I’m grateful for you for reading this. All these words mean very little without someone to read them and respond. I’m just a girl, yelling into the void, asking it to yell back (that’s your cue to comment below with your own list of gratitudes).
Sending you all love. You’ve got this. I’m cheering you on, friend. Bon courage et bonne chance!