I read an article from the Stall Street Journal at Western Wyoming Community College recently. What is that? First, the Stall Street Journal is great advertising. It’s when you post information in bathroom stalls. It’s a great way to reach people because frankly you “have a captive audience” for a few minutes (ha ha.)
Anyways, this particular article or rather, flyer, was information put out by Western’s Wellbeing and Accessibility Office. It talked of finding joy and how college is a great place to find things that can bring you joy like finding your passion, laughing more, learning to be more patient and how to treat yourself well. As I read for a minute I realized I really liked what it was saying, not just for college students, but for life in general, so I took a picture of it. I wanted to finish reading it later. (Yes, I had my phone with me in the bathroom.)
After reading the entire flyer, I was reminded of several things. First, college is a time to embrace independence and learn to do things for yourself. This can be scary if it’s your first time away from home for any length of time, but it can also be a place where you can try new things. The same is true for all of us whether we are in college or not. Sometimes we get in a rut and we don’t really try new things. We may be afraid to fail or we might feel like we should stay home to fold laundry, do dishes and get to other chores.
These are important but so is making time to do things with family while you can. Kids grow up so incredibly fast and then they are gone, to college or on with their own lives, and the time for making those precious moments could be gone. Interestingly enough is that when they leave home so does much of the laundry, the dishes, and those other things that could get in the way of “finding joy” if you let them. (It’s OK to leave a full hamper or some dishes in the sink while out making memories.)
College students have time to figure out what interests them. They can make time for new hobbies and meet new friends. Those things are important, but aren’t those important for all of us to do all of the time anyways? My “go to” fun thing is working out. However, I can’t do that all the time, and not everyone in my family enjoys that. I need to find things I can do and enjoy with each of them.
I recently got into a game called “Hunt A Killer,” which is basically a “whodunit” that you play monthly with family. I am not great at video games, but my son likes his, and the two littlest girls are just getting into some. They don’t care if I am good or not. They just want me to share in their fun thing with them! One of my older daughters like puzzles. I do too. We spend good time together when we do puzzles. We don’t have to spend tons of money to enjoy spending time. We go on walks, play board games, or watch movies. Trying new things is important, but doing things with people is also extremely important for joy.
The flyer said that it’s important to say “No” at times in order to find joy. This is one we all need to remember and realize. Most people will pitch in, lend a hand and help as much as they can despite being busy. College students have full loads even if they aren’t full-time students. My athletes have school, practices, competitions, studying, community service opportunities and yet, they still need to have to eat, sleep, be social, enjoy their hobbies and just chill. Most of us have work, chores, families, studies sleep and eat time, hobbies and socializing in order to be healthy and find joy. We all need to remember that it’s not just OK, but imperative that we take a step back at times and put ourselves first. The flyer reminded me that we can’t do it all and we don’t have to. We can say “No” without being mean or rude.
Recently we’ve all had to adjust our lives a bit because of COVID-19. Adjusting is what we do, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop finding ways to be joyful. It just means we might have to do different things or find different ways to do the same things we enjoy doing. Even with a mask on, or maintaining social distancing, I know I can find joy by keeping my mind focused on finding my passions, laughing more with my peeps and treating myself to something once in a while. I hope you are able to find some joy as well and that this Stall Street info was a good reminder for you as it was for me. Have a great day!
Lu Sweet is the athletic director at Western Wyoming Community College. She has been an educator in Rock Springs for two decades and a longtime contributor to the Rocket Miner.