By: Amanda Greco, Class of 2021
There is a common conception that you have to have it all together -- friends, relationships, academics... everything. But in reality, doing this is so hard, and most likely at least one thing will go awry at some point. This year has taught me the importance of being okay with not being okay. I want to set straight from the start that I am not in any way condoning pessimism. Instead, I am saying that to be optimistic, you have to be resilient. The true definition of resilience is undergoing a struggle and not letting it destroy you, instead growing from it.
I used to think that this growth, this bounce back, had to be instantaneous. However, to truly grow, you have to not deny the lows. Something going wrong has to be accepted as just that, and to build your strength, it is okay to share that actually, everything isn’t great. You do not have to pretend. Emotional intelligence is a mature skill grown by sharing the “negative” emotions alongside the positive. I dare to say that no emotions are really bad, because they all lead to your growth. Without sadness, anger, and anxiety, would we really ever develop into the independent, strong individuals that we are?
This year has taught me this through the occurrence of many changes in my friendships, romantic relationships, and academics that I did not expect. I like to be in control, as I think many BC students do. I am learning that to stay positive and happy, you have to accept when something is out of your control, and simply breathe. You do what is in your control, and find your confidence in knowing you have done all you can.
It sounds simple, and it is; however, as busy college students at a renowned college, we can get caught up with this image of having your whole life together. I challenge you to pause for a second and be mindful of how you really are the next time someone asks, “How are you?” in passing. Sure, you can respond the easy, “good,” response, but at least think about considering how you really are. If you’re "good", what is so great?
A suggestion I have for realizing what truly can be so great: list the positive things about each day before you go to sleep. If something is getting you down, go back to this list of all these good things and recognize that you can and will be okay, even though it is okay to not be okay in that moment. (If recurring feelings of depression or anxiety are persistent, I do recommend considering conversing with a specialist with mental health training. 25% percent of the BC community has utilized University Counseling Services. Caring for your health is a priority, and BC is here to offer support.) Be authentic and optimistic, and your resiliency will blossom and make you stronger and happier than you thought you could ever be.