What Feels like the End is Often the Beginning

Initially I came into Science of Happiness with a lot anxiety and self doubt because of starting the process to apply to medical school and graduation. However, these feeling of self doubt have transformed into feelings of confidence,awareness and excitement to start the next chapter of my life. I think some of the major lessons I learned from this class are how to flourish, my own personality traits I was unaware of, how to remain emotionally resilient and how to take advantage of the opportunities VCU has to offer before I graduate. To expand on this in the earlier in the semester our first weekly assignment we filled out Keyes Flourishing Scale and my results were awakening because I was not flourishing as much as I thought I was. Ever since I entered college I have always associated flourishing with how well I was doing in school. I never considered outside factors as a part of how well I was doing overall. I think this course has taught me yes school is important but ” How can you do well in school if everything else is below average?”. I have had the opportunity to take this into deep consideration all semester and have had the opportunity to make reform within my life. For example early in the semester I had no time for myself and was overloaded with school and was not genuinely happy, I felt like I was missing out on essential relationships with others and overall just lacking a sense of community. Even though I was able to recognize all the areas I was lacking in my life this did not really hit home until Dr. Sood’s lecture were she talked about all the mental health disorders and diseases that can result from not being happy and being stressed out. In addition when she told the class how she has to make time for herself even though she is a doctor and extremely busy, I realized I can achieve the same.

I think learning about my own personality during the VIA strengths and Surps survey were really beneficially because they made me aware of traits I possess. For example before we took this survey I only use to focus on my weaknesses and neglected my strengths, this survey taught me theres no such things as weaknesses and that they are just strengths I have to work a little harder on. The strengths I scored lower on were self regulation, zest, forgiveness. Throughout this semester I definitely have been working on  self regulation by distributing my time more wisely and tracking everything in a planner and to make sure I am not doing anything in excess such as binge eating late night in the library like I did in the fall semester. I worked on my zest by living in the moment I realized the reason I have lacked excitement and did things halfheartedly because my mind was always somewhere else for example thinking about an assignment that is due soon and not living in the present moment. Forgiveness has definitely been the hardest strength for me to work on because traditionally I hold grudges and “cut people off” but this semester I have tried to see situations from the other person’s perspective and this has allowed me to forgive people in shorter time periods and to not be resentful.

My emotional resiliency has really blossomed because of this class. When we heard the lecture about smart phones and how addicting they are, I didn’t realize how my behavior because of my phone use was obstructing my successfulness and my personal time outside of school. When I was obsessed with my phone it would take me twice as long to start and complete an assignment or my studying would always be less effective because I would study for 30 minutes and have an hour phone break. Ms. Nina Schroder lecture has really helped me hone my ability to be resistant using my smart phone and this allowed me to be more productive and even has allowed me to enjoy quality time with friends. For example my friends and I before this semester would go out to eat and spend the whole time on our phone after hearing Ms. Schroder’s lecture I suggested to my friends that whoever touches their phone during dinner has to pay for everyone. This has allowed us to really enjoy each other’s company in these last few months of undergrad since we are all graduating.

I think the lesson I  appreciated the most during this class were the ones about VCU resources. To be more specific I really enjoyed Ms. Sims lecture about the career service center because I have been stressing what to do in this gap year before medical school. Hearing all the things career services has to offer that I did not even know existed helped to relieve some of my stress. Her lecture was so encouraging for me that I even went ahead and booked multiple appointments to help develop my resume and explore possible career opportunities during my gap year.

I have already managed to implement changes to my life because of all the weekly lectures this spring. However, I think to make sure I stick with these positive changes in my life I think creating a journal to keep track of my progress will help me to keep bettering myself once I graduate. In addition I think what I have learned about breathing and mindfulness will really help me while studying for my MCAT this summer so I won’t get stressed out or discouraged.

To share all the lessons and tools I learned during this semester I think I will continue to post on my twitter and maybe even try to do things like m final project with positive intervention. Before this class I hadn’t touch my twitter in like 2 years because I thought no one used it. However since I started doing my social media posts I have gotten favorites on my post, in addition there is a new feature that allows you to view how any people you have been able to reach. To my very own surprise I have been able to reach hundreds of other users which is definitely more people than I can reach by word of mouth which lets me know my post can have a real tangible influence on others. By posting on my twitter account I
think I will be able to positively intervene in the live’s of others and possible help increase their emotional resilience and help them to self regulate their emotions as well

I chose an an image that shows a quote from Hilary Clinton during a 2006 commencement speech to SUNY Buffalo. I chose this because it to be very inspiring. In addition the background  found to be very peaceful; the quote and the background remind me of an old saying “There is beauty within the struggle”. Furthermore all of us have challenges and I believe this spring semester in the course science of happiness has made me better equipped to handle whatever challenges God and life decide to present to me from this point on.

picture was retrieved from:  https://www.themuse.com/advice/35-inspirational-graduation-quotes-everyone-should-hear


5 thoughts on “What Feels like the End is Often the Beginning”

  1. I really like that the social media posts had positively affected people. I found that the same thing happened to me when i did the social media post, I had friends and family tell me that the posts that I made really helped them when they were having a hard time. Which was really surprising, I didn’t think anyone would pay attention to m posts.

  2. I am really happy for you that this class taught you how to flourish and that you cultivated your emotional resiliency this semester. And I really like this quote you posted— it is really inspiring!

  3. I completely agree with this post, that as a college student we all have anxiety and this class has taught everyone how to handle them. I also agree that Ms. Nina’s lecture had a positive impact and made us realize that nowadays everyone uses their phone excessively. Overall, very well-written post, also the image is very meaningful.

  4. I’m in the same boat as you, turning over a new chapter in my life! It’s amazing that this class has helped you grasp who you really are and what you have to offer the world. Go get ’em.

  5. I agree that being able to take the VIA strengths survey was very beneficial to many of us in the class. I never knew that little ol me had so many strengths because a lot of them I had not used often. Ms. Sims’ lecture was really helpful and important to me as well, and the way that you have chosen to spread what you’ve learned from the class this semester is really great and I plan on doing the same!

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