How Silver Linings Changed My Life

New Year’s Eve 2014 – I got cussed out by a homeless woman. We struck up a conversation, and in parting, I wished her a happy new year full of good luck and great people, which I think is a totally acceptable thing to say, right? Well then she told me to f*** off, so maybe she wasn’t a big fan of that. Even though I laugh about it now, it was the first of many unfortunate events in the former half of my year.

Over the span of five months, I had a few junior year meltdowns, blew a handful of interviews and lost out on two positions that I really wanted. By the end of May, I was at the point where I was either going to quit or find a way to get my life together.

So I thought about something that my friend from high school told me. During our senior year, she told me that she had always admired my ability to see the silver lining when things got bad. I realized that I had made it to the end of my junior year of college, and somewhere along the way, I had forgotten how to appreciate life. From that point on, I chose to love life even when times got tough.

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I implemented what I like to call my Silver Linings Method, where all you need are four simple words to completely change your perspective in not-so-desirable situations. When something goes wrong, all you have to say is “on the bright side…” and think of something positive to take away from the situation. It forces you to take a step back and see the bigger picture, which is something we can struggle with as college students juggling 12 things at once.

Last semester, I interviewed for three internships that I didn’t get, and it hit me pretty hard because up until then, I had gotten every internship that I interviewed for. On the bright side, losing those internships gave me the motivation to rework my interviewing strategy, and I actually got the next internship that I interviewed for.

Today, I am a completely different person. I walk more confidently, talk more honestly and most importantly, I think more positively. I know that no matter what comes my way, no matter what mistakes I make or opportunities pass me by, there will always be a silver lining.

The world works in mysterious ways, and even though we all have to deal with difficult things sometimes, it’s important to stay positive. There’s always something to learn, something to take away and something to appreciate.

So what was my silver lining to getting cussed out by a homeless woman? Well on the bright side, I learned I should probably listen to my friends when they tell me to stop talking to random homeless people.

Note: For anyone going through some tough times right now, please read this article. It will change your life the same way it changed mine.

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