Editorial: Finding happiness in university

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Finding consistent happiness when multiple aspects of your life are uncertain can be challenging at times, especially during your time in university.

I’ve changed my mind about what it is I want to do with my life after I’m finished school too many times to count and spent more time than I’d like to admit panicking about the unpredictability of my future.

No matter how many ducks you have in a row or how organized you are, moving closer towards the world beyond university can be a daunting task.

Our time in school is typically spent teetering on a delicate balance between making sure we’re having the best time of our lives and doing all of the “right” things in order to properly succeed.

Wasting my time with trivial activities that I don’t really enjoy doing or putting more unnecessary points on my to-do list and calendar that simply don’t give my existence any added value, is something that I’ve been conflicted with since first-year.

We’re expected to have it all figured out and be picture perfect visions of adulthood by the time we move on from school, and that kind of pressure can be one of the most all consuming stressors we have during our four (or more) years here.

Regardless of how long it’s taken me to get to this point right now, I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing. I’m happy to know the people that I do and what I’m working towards.

I’ve slowly began to recognize the difference between the things that truly make me unhappy and aren’t worth my commitment, versus the things that push me outside of my comfort zone just enough so that I’m a better human being because of it.

Many aspects about where I am right now terrify me, stress me out and sometimes make me question all of my choices as I’m doing them. But I’ve realized that my happiness doesn’t have to be so fundamentally rooted in knowing all of the answers right now.

As someone who has typically done things because I felt like I “had” to, it’s been a challenge realizing that I don’t have to do anything that I don’t actually want to do.
    It’s almost scarier when you realize that you are in complete control of the choices you make and where they will lead you, because it means that you have to think critically about what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

At the end of the day, I do enjoy being in university for the academics, experiences and the opportunities it’s given me — that’s why I’m here. I’m pursuing the path I want to, while actively thinking about where it’s going to take me in the long run.

I just turned 23, a number that makes me feel like a clock is starting to tick down with how much time I have left to accomplish what I want to in order to achieve my ultimate vision of happiness — even if I don’t really have a firm grasp on what that is yet.

Regardless of how long it’s taken me to get to this point right now, I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing. I’m happy to know the people that I do and what I’m working towards.

I may be a little older than the average fourth-year, but I’m not going to waste my days with too many internal debates about what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Learning to accept the sometimes unexpected nature of things in life can be the best thing for you.

Just look at it this way, in the terribly underrated Pixar prequel Monsters University, Mike Wazowski’s dreams of becoming a scarer are eventually achieved through unforeseen experiences and he ends up happier and more successful because of it. If that’s not a model for success, I don’t know what is.

Leave a Reply