College can be a good experience for students to develop their skills in preparation for a successful career, improve their social skills, and experience glimpses of adult life; however, the constant assignments, side jobs, and sports practices can lead many students to feel less joyful from how busy or overwhelmed they feel.
Trying to find joy in life can be challenging, and most students are bound to encounter days when they’re ready for the next day. Some students probably don’t know how to find joy through their bad days. I asked two students for their advice on joy: Arty Elias and Darius Petties.
First, I asked Elias and Petties their definition of joy. Elias responded, “Joy is being pleased with every circumstance.” Petties added, “Joy is something that can’t be solved. Joy is a state of choice.”
Students are bound to experience some ups and downs through their experience in college. I asked them if they’ve experienced more or less joy throughout their time at SNU. Elias responded, “I’ve experienced joy every now and then.” Petties added, “I’ve experienced more joy in college.”
Everyone can achieve joy, however, everyone’s joy is unique. I asked them what gives them the most joy. Elias responded, “Doing good work and assignments gives me joy.” Petties included, “Doing things for the Lord gives me joy. When I’m doing the Lord’s deed, that gives me joy.”
It can be easy to find joy, but hard to keep it. Continuity for joy is difficult to obtain when students have days that they consider bad, whether it’s from long hours of homework, balancing college with part-time jobs, sports, relationship conflict, etc. I asked the students if they had been successful in finding joy through difficult times. Elias responded, “I have, but it’s still tricky finding joy every now and then.” Petties responded, “Yes. I think joy isn’t happiness, but it’s something that you choose. Through my mindset and willingness, I help myself find joy.”
I then asked the two to think of one positive and one negative thing that happened during the day before Thanksgiving break. Elias said, “The length of my class session was negative and a positive was my mail package was delivered.” Petties added, “Writing my papers has been negative, and taking a break and talking to people has been positive.”
I continued with the same question by asking them which has been the most impactful: the positive or the negative. While Elias responded, “The positives,” Petties said, “The negatives.”
For my last question, I concluded by asking, “If you feel that the negatives have outweighed the positives, then how can you improve your day? What are small things you can do to find joy?” To this, Elias responded, “Doing things you love, learning to take care of yourself, and doing things for yourself. Some of the small things include food and water to help improve your body and appreciate life.” Petties concluded, “I can turn my negatives into positives. I use the negatives I have, such as writing a paper, and find some joy in it. “Whatever you’re doing, think of it as if you’re doing it for the Lord. For the small things, I like to talk to people, play ping pong, watch anime, and listen to worship music. I also feel joy whenever I talk to my little sister and my Grandparents.”
Finding joy looks different for everybody, but I hope during this busy season you are able to schedule in some joy.
Photo by SNU Creative