The Power of Positivity

By Christine Pitts

Those of you who have completed your Masters in Higher Education/Student Affairs or will be completing it very soon (congratulations, by the way!) know the “blood, sweat and tears” that go into making it the best experience possible. Last semester was my first full semester as a graduate student in SA and let me tell you there was definitely tears and some sweat, no blood though. Becoming a master’s student or being an emerging professional in SA can be a tough transition.

When you enter a masters program there is always a lot going on. With student affairs you have your full course load, maybe a graduate assistantship, as well as an internship. Then you add in personal obligations, such as another job to help you get by financially or your sister is getting married, or in my case both – just to name a few. So, you have all these obligations, but you still want to make the most of your experiences so you join organizations, attend conferences and network. Bottom line is that there is a lot going on that you are not used to dealing with in such large packages. For me this was my first full semester. However, during my second semester I learned a great deal about being positive and the affect it can have on the ones around me, as well as myself.

My first semester really took me for a ride, brought me down and even made me questions my abilities at times. When spring semester rolled around I was terrified to begin again, but giving up is never an option. I decided things needed to change. Life began to turn around when I made the conscious decision to think more positively. On twitter I noticed many positive tweets from those that I follow and I realized how much they helped me get through the day. So, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I started posting positive quotes, pictures, and surrounding myself with positive people. The snow began to thaw (FINALLY!) the warm air began to rise, and with it so much began to change. It was like night and day.

Staying positive is not easy and I definitely believe it comes and goes in waves. It is my job to try my best to be as positive as I can be. I truly believe that trying my best to be positive over these past couple of months has changed my life. Here are some ways I stay positive:
  1. Start the morning off with positivity– I try to do this every morning via twitter by posting a positive quote. Not a twitter person? Simply reading a quote, or thinking a positive thought when you wake up could change your day. 
  2. Twitter Hashtags - #40DaysofThanks, #100HappyDays and #MotivationalMonday are just three hashtags on twitter that are full of positivity. I know there is more can you name some?
  3. Engaging in a positive conversation – whether it is with a peer, friend, supervisor/colleague or a random stranger. Positivity can be found anywhere at any time. 
  4. Be thankful for the little things – When I am starting to feel down I make it a point to remind myself of the small things, which I take for granted, that I should be thankful for. For example, “be thankful you have a home, a bed, food etc” – I am lucky, blessed and thankful to have these necessities. 
Lastly, always remember that, “you are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think” – Christopher Robin (Winnie the Pooh)

Student Affairs - the First Years

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