I was on the bus heading to campus the other day when I overheard a lengthy conversation. A girl was complaining on the phone about paying for Hershey park tickets. It sounded like they were arguing back that she had a part-time job and could pay for it herself. They went on to mention that they’re paying for her college in whole, her rent and utilities, and I’m sure other things that I couldn’t hear and yes, she was a speaker phone. She rudely argued with them on every single point. The conversation ended with her looking relieved and saying thank you, which led me to assume that whoever she was speaking to agreed to pay for her tickets.
This really rubbed me the wrong way. This girl (along with some other students) are blessed enough to have their parents pay for their education and the expenses that come with it. Yet, here she is, publicly harassing whoever into paying for a weekend activity when she could likely front the cost herself.
Why am I annoyed by this? Well, I think a lot of students (and people in general) don’t live their lives in a grateful manner. We aren’t thankful enough for what we do have, and instead we focus on what we do not. This is a toxic state of mind because it interferes with our own happiness and prosperity.
I once read that people who have a grateful mindset experience an increase in mental health and a greater sense of meaning in life. I wholeheartedly believe this because I changed my mindset recently from focusing on what I don’t have to what I do have and I felt a happier acceptance of my own life.
Gratitude is especially important with teenagers and young adults. We live in a world where social media is rampant, and we see everyone’s “perfect” lives splashed all over our phone every day.
- “He or she goes on these extravagant vacations yearly.”
- “She has the perfect body and face.”
- “They are the cutest couple. I wish my boyfriend and I were that happy.”
- “She can afford the best clothing and makeup. Why can’t I?”
These thoughts plague some individuals who use Instagram or has a Facebook account. People create these perfect lives on social media and certain people buy into them. I completely understand that. It’s especially difficult for millennials because we are so competitive by nature, and social media only amplifies this. But it’s so important to realize that this is all a facade for many, many people. We should learn to be grateful and happy with our own lives instead of focusing on our shortcomings.
If someone is struggling with this and don’t know what to be thankful for, I challenge you to think about a few of these things daily: the clean, filtered water we drink every day is not accessible for half of the world. Whether or not your parents pay for your college education, there are billions of people around the world who would love the opportunity to get a quality elementary education, let alone a college education. Going to the dentist or doctor’s office is a huge blessing – how many people get routine medical care on almost every part of their body?
No matter the family situation of somebody, there is always something to be grateful for. We all have many people who love us, and that is immeasurable. These are just a scratch on the surface of what we should be thankful for.
(I am by no means perfect or an avid follower of my own advice. I try to be, but I absolutely lapse ever so often.)
In the end, your own happiness can be improved if you just live life with a grateful mind. We are so lucky for a million different things!
With that, I want to use this platform to thank CCBC (the CCBC Student life and the CCBC Honors Program), and Phi theta Kappa; for offering me the opportunity to spend the past year developing my leadership skills, to receive an excellent education which is fully funded, and to work towards transferring to a four year College. #IamCCBC
Thanks for Reading!!!