Staying positive can help reduce stress, something that is rampent on campus druing finals season. MartaZ*/FLICKR VIA CC BY 2.0

Staying positive can help reduce stress, something that is rampant on campus during finals season. MARTAZ*/FLICKR VIA CC BY 2.0

I have been called a Beatles-loving, peace sign-throwing, flower crown-wearing hippie more than once. It’s a title I accept with pride; hippies had it made. Dancing in bell bottom jeans at Woodstock sounds ideal right now, just before a grueling finals week.

This is a stressful time for everyone on Stony Brook’s campus. Check the library, and you’ll find people chugging down caffeinated drinks at all hours of the night in order to save their grades. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but just because everyone is on the struggle bus at the moment doesn’t mean we can’t keep the positive vibes going.

Positivity will get you everywhere, and the universe rewards people who put positivity out into the world. Sure, you may say this is a lot of bull, and you would rather spend your time studying for your finals than reading another vegan, gluten-free, yoga-enthusiastic article about how you are the key to your success.

Well, I love bacon and bread too much to give those up, and yoga actually can be pretty fun if you let yourself laugh at how silly you may look, but it is my hope that this isn’t your typical motivational “you control your own destiny” article. Instead, I will share with you my tips for surviving this semester with a smile on my face (most of the time).

This semester was an especially hectic one for me. I had a full course load as a double major, got a job at the Undergraduate Student Government as a front desk receptionist, practiced and performed on the dance team TYS, joined the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha ,and somehow still managed to keep a social life in the mix. It was a lot. Looking back on these past few months even I am shocked I made it this far without losing my mind.

But these past few months have taught me a lot. This semester I received advice that truly changed my life. Not all your decisions in life have to be complicated. You have to make one decision in life and everything will make sense. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Do you want to be happy?” Once you answer that question, everything will fall into place. Shoutout to my sorority sister’s mom for sharing this wisdom.

With that said, I will get to good stuff, actual tips that can help you for semesters to come. My first tip is to schedule everything into a planner. Trust me when I say this helps. Not only does this compile all your to-dos in one place, but when you get to cross out what you have just done, it is the best feeling in the world. It is so empowering that it springs you onto the next to-do with more enthusiasm than before.

Next tip is to take all your food to go and eat it while you walk or are in class. The whole dine-in system may make this more difficult, but when possible, this kills two birds with one stone. At my busiest times, I never sat down to eat a real meal. I was always on the move with food in my hand.

In any free time you have while doing one thing, work on stuff for something else. When I would get a five-minute break during dance practice, I would fly to my laptop to complete assignments. Any free time I had during work, I would organize my schedule. You get the gist. Don’t waste free time in your day — use it to your advantage.

Also, take 20 minute naps any chance you can get. Sleep is important.

Finally, be good at what you do. If you put maximum effort into whatever you are doing, you will complete it quicker and more efficiently. This leaves you more time to do whatever else needs to get done.

If you implement even a few of these tricks and try to remember your ultimate goal of happiness, this can improve your life or at least make you smile today. We can do this, people. Stay positive.