Let yourself enjoy university life—it’s an integral part of your growth

These days, many of us are hyperaware of the lives of friends and acquaintances we see online. The constant noise of everyone else’s activity can be overwhelming compared to our own lives—especially when we lose hours to scrolling on our screens. 

When our timelines are perfectly curated to our interests, aspirations, and passions, what we’re left with is a never-ending supply of possibilities for what our life could look like if we modeled ourselves after someone else.

University serves as a transitory period of our lives. We must ask ourselves: where do I want to go from here? What’s the next step? 

On the other hand, university students are at a unique point when we get to live within a 10-minute walk of all of our friends. We’re at a point where we can indulge in whatever excites or intrigues us. 

While students navigate working, seeking internships, and existential crises over what their future will look like, it’s important to take a step back and enjoy what the present brings.

Overchoice’ is a phenomenon that describes the difficulty associated with making a decision when presented with a variety of options. Surely, this cognitive response might impact our economic or romantic desires while distracting us from our daily life—it’s a fine line to walk.

These thoughts hadn’t occurred to me until I was ranting to my mother about how the world and future are my oysters. She laughed at how excited I was but warned me that chasing happiness by looking to the next possibility can result in a feeling of emptiness. 

My excitement stemmed from the lives I saw on social media, the carefully curated posts of others. Studies documenting the impacts of overchoice on one’s mental health report lower choice satisfaction and poorer decision making when faced with heightened possibilities.

This, in combination with the fact that what we see on social media highlights the positives of our lives in what we choose, can result in aversions to what you have—and can make you question if what you’re doing is correct. 

I’ve had an epiphany recently. Watching my upper-year friends get ready for graduation and seeing my post-grad friends settle into life after university made me realize how much there is to enjoy in the present. We’re at a time of our lives that must be cherished for its unfiltered enjoyment, meaningful friendships, and self-discovery.

Someone else’s online presence we may envy isn’t real—it’s a carefully constructed aesthetic veil. The true satisfaction in life lies in the little moments with the people around you. 

Rida is a third-year Politics student and one of The Journal’s Assistant News Editors.

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