Editor's Note: Gratitude

There was a night at the end of last semester when the wall holding my worries back collapsed — and with it, so did I. Tears streamed down my face as anxious thoughts consumed me — I wouldn’t finish my assignments on time, I wouldn’t succeed in my new role as Editor in Chief, I wouldn’t get through ongoing family drama, I wouldn’t get past the emotional stress fueled by negative thoughts and self-doubts.

But even when life is daring me not to, I try hard — inside and out — to be optimistic and seek out gratitude for all moments. Every night, I journal a few things I am grateful for. Some days, though, when nothing seems to be going well, it can be hard to find those things. Those days are when my degrading internal thoughts threaten to tear down my optimistic outlook.

It felt like hours passed before I finally composed myself that night, put on some comfy pajamas and climbed in bed. Next to me sat my gratitude journal, daring me to ignore it and let the bad things cloud my mind.

But despite the intimidation, that night I wrote these four bullets in my gratitude journal:

Admittedly, it’s not easy to be thankful when things are rough — it can be quite emotionally taxing. There have been times when I wanted to give up and stop fighting for positivity. However, trying to end each day on a positive note has allowed me to not only appreciate the little things more, but also not let the bad ones seem bigger than they are.

If things are hard and not going my way, I'm grateful for the sliver of sunshine among the gray Rochester clouds. If it feels like any more water will cause me to drown, I focus on the fresh air I'll breathe when I reach the surface — and I'm grateful for it all.

Much like the end of the semester, the start of a new one can be overwhelming. Doubts and stressors can be consuming, allowing negativity to take hold. We all face our own challenges, and we each have our ways of pushing forward. It isn’t always easy. Yet when nothing seems to be going right — make room for gratitude.