Riley Knouse: Find some happiness, however small it may be

Riley Knouse

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I feel like I am suffocating myself, being crushed by the weight of everything that needs to be done, but I have yet to touch.

Junior year is deflating me, and I know that I am neither the first or last person to say this. One day I have no homework and am floating on cloud nine, and the next I have 35 math problems on a subject I barely understand, a chapter packet and blog due by the next class period, 10 chapters by the end of the week, coloring things for physio, and did I mention that 40 minute in-class essay coming up? Let’s not forget ballet rehearsal at dance from 4 pm to 7:30 pm three days a week, and then another rehearsal from 11 am to 6:30 pm on Saturdays.

However, I am positive that I am not the only person experiencing this, due to the fact that my junior class has a Facebook group devoted to helping each other not go insane. Plus, every senior, alumnus and teacher I’ve talked to have cringed when talking about the 11th grade.

“There are good things happening somewhere, right?”

I find myself mentally asking this question more and more these days, then answering myself with “I really hope so.”

Since when did feeling genuinely happy become so difficult? I don’t mean the big happy, where you go to Disneyland or adopt a small and adorable animal. I mean the small kind of happiness, where even if the only way to see it is if you squint, you still feel yourself smiling for no reason.

In order to find something that would make me smile, I typed the word “Happy” into both Google and Tumblr. At first on Google, all I could see were links to the song Happy by Pharrell, happy faces, puppies and kittens. When searching Tumblr, I found what seemed like a bunch of random pictures, the only thing in common being the tag “happy.” Tea, kittens, sweaters, food, hugs. While scrolling and thinking “why is this and this here?” I started to realize that yes, I’d found it. There is a reason why all of these photos pop up under the word “happy.”

All of the pictures I was looking at gave the people who posted them that warm, fuzzy and glowing feeling in their stomach.

When you start to feel like you’re drowning, with no end to the workload in sight, stop and take a breath. Make some tea, forcibly hug a friend, take a nap, play with a cute animal, bake something. Feel that small piece of happy contentment, and I can promise you that it will at least make everything a little more bearable.

What do you think?