Franklin Norton , Social Media Manager

It’s that time of the semester where life gets real and things get hard and we start to ask ourselves: is this all even worth it? There were several times this week that I spoke with friends who were feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of life, as the seasons change and our workloads get fuller. As I was driving home the other night, I was feeling weighty after some of the conversations I had. Let this be an encouragement to not only my closest friends, but the strangers reading this.

Don’t forget to notice your life. Look at things with a fresh set of eyes and embrace the world’s whimsy. Check out the sunset and watch how it reflects off the water. Have coffee with a friend and tell jokes and laugh hard. Blast your favorite song in the car and give the concert of your life. Make moments matter and find the extraordinary in the ordinary. It’s there. Believe me.

For so long, I allowed my grades and my achievements to define who I was. It’s a trap that affects us all. We place our value in things that are, quite often, not valuable. We have to stop measuring ourselves by G.P.A. points and G.R.E. scores. One of my favorite authors and humans, Bob Goff, said this in his book, Love Does: “I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” There is so much more to life than we’ve been told.

It is so easy to allow stress to overcome us. It consumes our minds and steals our time. So, take the study break, put the book down and go hang out with your friends. I’ll quote Bob again: “Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy and in love.”

Look around now and always at where you are, what you are doing and who you are with. Just don’t forget to notice how good and fun life can be.