I recently read an article from the Stall Street Journal at Western Wyoming Community College. What’s this? First, Stall Street Journal is a great advertisement. It’s when you post information in toilet cubicles. It’s a great way to reach out to people because honestly, for a few minutes you have “a captive audience” (ha ha.)
However, that particular article, or rather the flyer, was information published by the Western Wellbeing and Accessibility Office. It was about finding joy and how college is a great place to find things that can bring you joy, like finding your passion, laughing more, being more patient, and treating yourself well. As I read for a minute, I realized that I really liked what it said, not just for students but for life in general, so I took a picture of it. I wanted to finish reading it later. (Yes, I had my cell phone with me in the bathroom.)
After reading the entire flyer, I was reminded of several things. First, college is a time to gain independence and learn to do things for yourself. This can be scary if it’s your first time away from home for a long time, but it can also be a place to try new things. The same goes for all of us, whether we are in college or not. Sometimes we get into trouble and don’t really try new things. We may be afraid of failure or feel like we should stay home folding laundry, doing dishes, and other chores.
These are important, but it is also important to take time to do family things for as long as you can. Children grow up so incredibly fast and then they’re gone, to college or with their own lives, and the time to create those precious moments could be over. Interestingly, when you leave the house, a lot of the laundry, dishes, and other things that could get in the way of “finding joy” if you let them. (It’s okay to leave a full basket or dishes in the sink while you’re making memories.)
College students have time to find out what interests them. You can take time for new hobbies and meet new friends. These things are important, but aren’t they important for all of us to do all the time? My fun thing is to exercise. However, I can’t always do this, and not everyone in my family enjoys this. I need to find things to do and enjoy with each of them.
I recently played a game called Hunt A Killer which is basically a Whodunit that you play with your family on a monthly basis. I’m not particularly good at video games, but my son likes his, and the youngest two girls are just getting into some. They don’t care if I’m good or not. They just want me to share their fun thing with them! One of my older daughters likes puzzles. Me too. We have a good time doing puzzles together. We don’t have to spend a lot of money to pass time. We go for a walk, play board games or watch films. It’s important to try new things, but it’s also extremely important to do things with people for enjoyment.
The flyer said that it is important to say “no” sometimes to find joy. This is one that we all need to remember and recognize. Most people will jump in, lend a hand, and help as much as they can while they are busy. College students have a full load even if they are not full-time students. My athletes have school, drills, competitions, study, community service opportunities and yet they need to eat, sleep, be social, enjoy their hobbies, and just relax. Most of us have work, housework, families, sleep and meal times, hobbies and socializing in order to be healthy and find joy. We all need to remember that not only is it okay, but that sometimes we have to take a step back and put ourselves first. The flyer reminded me that we cannot and do not have to do everything. We can say “no” without being mean or rude.
Lately 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 happy. It just means that we may have to do different things or find different ways to do the same things that we love to do. Even when I’ve put on a mask or kept social distance, I know that I can find joy if I focus on finding my passions, laughing more with my eyes, and indulging in something every now and then. I hope you find some joy too, and that this Stall Street information was a good memory for you as it was for me. Have a great day!
Lu Sweet is the sports director at Western Wyoming Community College. She has been a Rock Springs educator for two decades and a longtime employee of the Rocket Miner.