Fellow students! I have a proposition for you. How would you like to be a little bit happier every day?
Well, tough luck. I don’t know you personally, and I can’t even assume you have the same basic needs, ethics, or priorities as I do. However, if that answer was a little disappointing for you, then I have one that might be a little better (and a little less cynical).
An easy way to be a little happier when you’re walking around campus is to identify some of the smaller peeves you have and to try to overcome your desire to flip a table whenever you come across those things. I can think of a few times right off the top of my head, when I’ve seen my fellow students flip out over the smallest of inconveniences. If you’re one of these people, then I encourage you to take a chill pill and enjoy the happiness that comes with caring a little less about the small annoyances in life.
- Stop fretting about the food in dining halls. We know that Oakenshields is always a mess and that dining hall on West Campus never has food as good as that other dining hall on West Campus right next to it. We all know that it is impossible to get a good bite to eat early on Saturday mornings, and of course the lunch trucks will spell you diet’s doom. Just eat and be happy. You have more food options in Ithaca than most small towns in America have in combination. Can we not take joy in that variety and simply wait on line for five minutes to get that Sesame Chicken we both know you’re going to get anyway?
- Exams are not the end of the world. You have been taking academic tests all your life and you have done just fine. If you’re any older than a first-semester Freshman, you have even survived Cornell’s rigorous exams multiple times before. You have even taken exams just to get into a college so you can take more exams! If you’re interested in law, you are quite literally in college preparing for an exam. Let’s not pretend that you didn’t see this coming. You knew there would be exams, and you know exactly how prepared you are for them. You also know that the only way to better prepare yourself for these exams is to stop complaining and start studying. So, unless your whining is a thinly veiled attempt to procrastinate because you are happier not studying for your exam than actually preparing for it, you have no reason to be tormenting yourself over this any more.
- The cold is your friend. I suffer from this issue, too. Ithaca can be extremely cold sometimes and it is very inconvenient for everyone. However, with a few layers of clothing, that cold isn’t going to get to you. Most likely, you’re uncomfortable and cold because you didn’t layer up properly. Don’t blame the weather; blame your closet. Then, go treat yourself to a nice new coat and scarf. Woo, consumerism!
- There are plenty of things to do in Ithaca. Ithaca might not be a bustling metropolis, but it is far from being the smallest town in America. There are plenty of things to do on campus and off campus. You just need to branch out, explore new means of transportation, and get a good group of friends with pleasant attitudes and open minds who wouldn’t mind going to new places or trying new activities. The sooner you stop insisting that there is “nothing to do in Ithaca,” the more quickly you will discover that you are just being too lazy to go out and find what Ithaca does have to offer.
- Online systems at Cornell. Orgsync for student organizations, the online platform for the housing lottery, the Oracle system for pre-enrollment–Cornell is riddled with third-party platform solutions for its most basic administrative functions and hardly any of them are as efficient as they could be. You’re going to be frustrated by poor server management, confusing website designs, and non-intuitive processes on all of these systems. However, the more time you spend on these systems, the more proficient you will become at navigating through them. Your complaints are falling on deaf ears; Cornell University cannot and will not get rid of all these systems any time soon. However, take solace in the fact that many generations of students have already discovered ways to take advantage of these systems and posted their knowledge on the internet. Google search it, my friends. You’ll be amazed.