Editorial: Finding meaning in the small moments

Editorial: Finding meaning in the small moments

The world can sometimes seem like a fraught place with mounting stress and anxiety attacking us from every angle. From ongoing global issues to grueling college schedules that leave you drained at the end of the week, it seems like there is never an end to worries. And, sometimes, these worries can drag you down, leaving you dizzied and confused about what to do next.

But how do you move forward? How do you find the motivation to keep going despite the chaotic state of the world? When you’re focused on such monumental questions as those, the answer is almost unobtainable, and that can leave you stuck even more. Perhaps instead your focus should be more narrowed. Perhaps instead there is a wealth of meaning that can be found in the small parts of our lives.

A fun board game night with your friends or family, a small memory you just made with the people you care about the most, a stupid little joke you told that made everyone laugh—all of these might seem like small, trivial moments. But looking more deeply, we can begin to appreciate what these moments might really mean to us.

Most important are the small moments you share with the people you care about: your friends, family and even classmates. A small get-together, such as simply grabbing some food or playing some songs you all love, can bring you together, even if for just a brief period of time. In that moment, nothing matters more than the memories you’re making. Eventually, those small moments build up and can keep you moving forward.

There might also be truth to the importance of the small things. In fact, a recent study published in Nature Human Behavior suggests that those small, seemingly insignificant moments can have a tremendous impact on our search for meaning.

Moreover, as college students we might find ourselves stuck in the mindset that our college years need to be monumental and some of the best years of our lives. And when we graduate, we might think that we can’t get those years back. During those periods, try to reframe your perspective. College doesn’t have to involve weekend after weekend of parties or some life-changing experiences. A board game night is just as worthwhile and can be just as meaningful. And if you’re spending that time with your friends or family, then you’ve made a memory. If it can get you through the day, or pick you up after a long week, you can appreciate those moments, whatever they may be.

So, what’s one small thing that you did today or one small memory that you shared with your loved ones that you can appreciate? How can you make more of those small memories? If you’re feeling lost or are finding it hard to keep your head up, think back on these questions. You might find that there’s more in your life to appreciate than you initially realized. And that’s enough of a reason to keep moving forward.

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