Your attitude affects those around you

Boosting the CWRU community

Heather O'Keeffe

I will first say that Passion Pit was amazing. I realize it was two weeks ago, but once again I feel the need to thank the University Program Board for such a fantastic concert. The free tickets padded my otherwise empty wallet and the night of passionate fun was the perfect cure to too-many-exams-itis.

While whipping my hair to “Sleepyhead,” I took a brief moment to take in the scene around me. The front of the field house turned concert hall was packed with head bobbers, crowd surfers and singers-along. Towards the back people stood at nearly arms length away with barely a smile across their lips. Based on my observations there seemed to be a direct relationship between stage proximity and crowd density to the amount of fun had by the attendee.

I was greatly disheartened to see my peers (and alumni and parents, which was weird) sitting against the walls or standing with their arms crossed. Their faces resembled the Mckayla-Maroney-not-impressed-grimace and their body language blatantly read, “Bored.” It was even worse when I noticed people were leaving the concert! Who walks away from a free concert?

Well, to those who felt Passion Pit was not entertaining enough, allow me to impart this little secret upon you: More than what you are doing or where you are, the people you are with have the greatest bearing on your experiences.

Think of your favorite memories, those days when you felt infinite bliss. Were you with your best friends? Your family? Or were you with someone you hate?

I know for a fact that I would rather spend the day in a cardboard box with my best friend than ride the most exhilarating roller coaster at Cedar Point with a person I can’t stand.

In regards to the concert, I nearly had more fun waiting for Passion Pit to emerge than when they were actually performing. My friends and I took it upon ourselves to make our own music and screamed Vanilla Ice lyrics for all the world to hear. This simple, unabashed act drowned out the sweaty, cramped, unhappy waiting scenario we could have easily succumbed to.

Before you discard your friends in search of new ones, I challenge you to analyze the person always beside you: you.

At the end of the day, your attitude determines your happiness. The mindset you enter the concert, class, party or any opportunity with weighs immensely on how you feel both during and after.

We are the sole proprietors of our emotions. No one can tell us what to feel and no amount of chocolate cake or puppies can make us happy. We are only happy when we choose to be and disappointed when we decide that is the path we want to walk. You’ll feel great when you savor the cake, but will only regret the calories when you compare it to momma’s secret recipe.

So the next time you trudge to class or are dragged off to some party, remember that life is what you make of it. Sit next to classmates who intently listen to professors because they have a genuine interest in the information and make a conscious decision to engage in learning. Rather than sulk in the corner at a party because you can’t stand the music, raise above the subpar tunes and introduce yourself to someone new.

Start with yourself and work outward, surrounding yourself in a network of fun-loving, life-living people. Now try to walk away from Passion Pit.

Heather O’Keeffe is a second-year student studying biomedical engineering and sports medicine. She shows little restraint to dancing like no one is watching when everyone is.