Our minds get a little too clouded with all the things we need to accomplish once in a while. I often find myself fretting all too often over things that just don’t matter. Like a biology exam, for example (let’s hope my biology professor doesn’t read this). I didn’t mean it; the exam matters! I swear I care! But is it really worth worrying about to the point of acquiring insomnia? I hope I never repeat that mistake again.

I’m that girl who often takes school a little too seriously (gasp, for those of you who know me). School is serious and certainly important. But I have to remind myself from time to time that other things in my life are a little more important.

Stop, step back and think (just for a moment) about those things in your life. They aren’t your GPA, number of extra curricular activities, or even your biology grade. They’re the relationships, memories, and love you develop with your friends and family. And don’t forget your happiness.

Years from now, you’re not going to look back on college and remember that one exam you messed up. You’re going to remember the time your friends brought you ice cream, peanut butter, and a stuffed animal to get you through a long night of work. You’re going to remember dressing up with your housemates as pirates for Halloween (or are you?). You’re going to remember your roommate leaving you 20 Post-It notes on your desk just to make you laugh. Don’t let anything, like getting too stressed out, make you forget or pass up the moments that make life rich. These moments are what help you get through the pesky stuff, like school.

You’ve probably heard the line “In six months, you won’t even remember failing that exam…” way too many times. But it’s true. I’d probably substitute a pathetic “two years” for “six months” in a few of my cases, but truth be told, the things we get upset about today probably won’t matter down the line as much as we think they will.

Now, please don’t throw out your textbooks and start failing everything. We’re all blessed to have the opportunity to attain a Fairfield education. But please do remember that it’s not the end of the world if you mess up once in a while. What’s most important is to lead a balanced life.

The best part is that getting to that point isn’t as hard as it sounds. Starting is as easy as making sure you smile more often than you frown. Say hi to that person you see all the time but always look at your feet when you pass. Wake up and sing in the shower. Dance, even if it’s when no one’s looking. Take a few minutes out of your busy day to get coffee with an old friend, sit on the beach (without a beer), or take a walk. Call a family member or drive around with all your windows down blasting Bruce Springsteen (or your own musical drug of choice). All of these things will add up, and you’ll wake up one day and won’t need to remind yourself anymore to sing in the shower or smile instead of frown.

Just give yourself a break. What’s most important is to be happy. If you’re happy, you’ll naturally do better in school.

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