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Rosa the Dancer
Rosa the Dancer
May 25, 2024

Potentially Problematic: Optimistic outlooks on pessimistic life


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Finals are coming. I’m stressed. I’m tired. Why won’t summer come already?

By this point every year, every conversation seems to begin and end this way. Finals, stress, exhaustion, summer, and so on. Over and over. And yet it never seems to get old. I’m tired, I’m stressed, where is summer?

It’s amazing how, at the pinnacle of excitement, at the end of the year, the only thing we are consumed by is repetition. It’s understandable; finals are stressful and exhausting. But after that, there’s nothing separating us from summer except for time. Yet we waste that time wallowing in our hyperbolic agony.

I’m not going to say that there’s a perfect positive spin on everything. I’m not going to deny that sometimes things are just a huge struggle because saying so would be unreasonably naive. But I will say that we have far better things to do than worry. We can spend our minutes filling ourselves with anxiety about failing a math test, or we can study and tell ourselves that we will pass. We can cry over how little time we have to get things done, or we can focus on the fact that it’s almost over and summer is just around the corner.

People tend to fall short in optimism, not necessarily because they are pessimists (even though some truly are) but rather because they’re trying to make everything bad into something good. While I’m all for seeing the beauty in things, sometimes it just becomes too difficult to do. Ignoring the bad parts of things doesn’t make them better which is something many of us are forced to learn the hard way. It’s about taking the bad with the good. Taking something stressful and trusting that somehow something good will come from it or soon after it.

“The basis of optimism is sheer terror,” writer Oscar Wilde said. This has been proven time and time again. You can’t be optimistic if everything is perfect all the time. There has to be something to be optimistic about.

It’s ok to be stressed. It’s ok to be tired. It’s ok to ask why summer hasn’t come yet. But remember to breathe as you do so. Put a little faith in something good and focus on that instead. Everything can’t always be good, but that doesn’t mean it has to all be bad.

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