For college students, the last two years have been unpredictable and unprecedented. The emergence of COVID-19 completely changed the college experience, moving classes to an online platform and limiting all social interaction. While it was not what recent graduates and current students expected, they made the most of their time by embracing change and remaining positive throughout the stress of school and a pandemic. 

The sudden change in the state of the world pushed people into isolation. College students went from experiencing constant chaos to living out their collegiate years through a screen. Feelings of loneliness and uncertainty lingered, but students remained hopeful. Many found benefits in adjusting to the ease of online coursework, like spending more time with loved ones. Finding the light within times of darkness continues to be an important part of creating some semblance of normalcy. 

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “the power of positive thinking.” While it may seem cliché, maintaining a positive mindset is linked to increased productivity, success and improvements in health. Positivity can also help when managing stress and mental health by dismantling negative thought patterns, which can then affect behavior. College is a time for adjustment, which can include changing your mindset and looking on the bright side! 

While it can be easy to feel down while at school due to feeling homesick or not acing the exam you spent hours studying for, it’s important to avoid dwelling on negativity. Focusing on the things that bring joy to your life can minimize the impact of negative thoughts and feelings. Although it can be difficult at times to appreciate the small stuff, especially during a global pandemic, it is important to be thankful for what we do have. As college students, we experienced loss in terms of our college experience. However, I was able to spend more time with my roommates, learn how to adjust to learning in a completely virtual environment and realize how much love and light I have in my life. 

An important thing to remember while in college is that even though everything seems like it is the most important thing in the world, it is okay to take a step back. Becoming overwhelmed and overextended can lead to self-doubt, negativity and what some may perceive as failure. Prioritization and self-care help to create a more balanced mindset by helping to identify and cultivate positive ideas.

Focusing on the good and implementing positivity into your life and mindset can lead to a better life. Improvements in health, both physical and mental, have outward effects. It is important to remember that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, regardless of the situation. If you are seeking help or need to speak with a professional, there are people and resources that are available to provide support. Clemson University students have access to the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) program that works to improve the safety and well-being of students. Clemson students and staff can visit this link for access to more mental health resources:

Written by: Chandler Brown


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