I have learned a few things in my brief, four-week foray into writing. First, using contractions is apparently bad style. Second, when in doubt, cut it out. Third, nothing is ever going to be as good as you want it to be. Fourth, ignorant readers who disagree with one idea in your piece, disagree with all of them. Finally, writers thrive off criticism. They pick something that pisses them off and vent about it. I am the same way. I see a problem, I point it out, identify the pros but ultimately condemn an action as a con. So in this piece, let me silence what I do best, criticize, and cite one of a thousand things that Stanford does really well.
Stanford gives me an infinite number of ways to better myself. Classes, club sports, gyms, social scenes, etc. are all fantastic ways to ensure that I am a better person today than I was yesterday. An example would be Stanford’s various and fantastic classical concerts. Now, my friends can attest that I know absolutely nothing about music. I can’t play a note, let alone an instrument; the result of an adolescence dominated by chess and track. However, appreciating music is something I have been trying to do for a long time. The free concerts put on by the Friends of Music at Stanford are my only real window into the world of music. I have been trying to get friends and acquaintances involved, to no avail, but that doesn’t stop me from taking advantage of a great opportunity.
Stopping to dwell on what is going right in your life is a good exercise. Now, I am not saying you should trot around boasting about yourself or berating others for negativity. However, concentrating on the good is a part of self-care and mental health that we should all practice.
I take three things that are going well in a week, write them down and put them in my wallet so I always have something to be thankful for. My tip is to limit, not eliminate, your inner critic. Be adventurous, take risks and focus on what is going well in the world around you, and how you can take advantage of that.