Optimism and Term Papers

In what I hope is the last academic week of my life, I’m writing one last theory paper. When it’s done, I’ll put it up on GiTH for the whole world to see, if only as a told-you-so to the people who think writing a paper can’t be that stressful.

Until then, I want to highlight what I’m finding important throughout this process. Mostly as an exercise in holding on to my admittedly flagging optimism.

First, self-awareness is huge. For everyone really, but especially to a counselor. I don’t need to be perfect, but I do need to realize when four hours of classes is making me cranky. In becoming aware that something is an issue, I can actually deal with it. I can allocate resources and cope in a healthy way instead of trying to power through.

We all saw how well trying to power through was going for me.

Second: resilience might be even bigger than self-awareness. We all know there are moments  (like right now) that can only suck, where optimism seems not only unrealistic, but downright stupid.

It’s times like these where a positive outlook isn’t just helpful, it’s necessary.

I don’t have to believe that everything is all sunshine and rainbows all the time, but I do have to believe that the sucky things will get better. Especially during times of hardship (or just plain tedium, as the case may be). I’m not going to tell you that bad stuff doesn’t hurt like hell. I will tell you that it’s temporary, and filled with lessons that make you a better person.