Spend your energy where it counts

Jared Penna, Former Managing Editor

Keeping positive is hard. Although this sentiment is a bit worn out, it’s been especially difficult over this past year. But staying true to the mindset of being positive, of choosing to be positive every chance that you are given, can drastically change your life.

My experiences with The Chronicle taught me plenty during my time at Quinnipiac University, but perhaps no lesson feels as important or worthwhile as this one.

Jared Penna said that The Chronicle was the ‘silver lining’ of his college experience. Photo by Will Fowler

I wouldn’t say that my time at Quinnipiac has been fantastic. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable here, like I was an observer watching those around me operate but never quite getting it myself. No matter my effort, it seemed that there was some sort of fundamental, cultural difference between myself and this school.

But by no means was it all bad. The first place that I started feeling a bit more comfortable was at The Chronicle. I didn’t go to my first meeting until one full month into my freshman year, and walking in the room I was nervous. Leaving the room I was nervous. And it stayed that way for probably another month. But I was comfortable.

I finally had my silver lining.

I had found a place here that made me feel more at home. Suddenly there was this club that could distract me, even if just for a little while, from all of the pressure and stress of my discomfort here. Finally, there was something I could focus on to stay positive.

No matter what it was, whatever stress I had or uncomfortable feeling I was dealing with, in the back of my mind I was always thinking, “Hey, at least I got The Chronicle,” and that was a choice. I could have sat in my discomfort and let it bring me down, I could have focused on it entirely, but instead, I chose not to.

I chose to stay positive. Each person only has so much energy, and I made the decision to direct all of mine toward only the things that brought me joy and comfort.

That decision was life-changing. Once you let go of all of the things that bring you down and you stop giving them power by entertaining them with your attention and time, life becomes so much brighter. Stress fades away and all that’s left are the things that bring you joy because you chose to pour your energy and focus into them.

I was lucky enough to enjoy being a part of The Chronicle for almost three full years. I was surrounded by fantastic people who, whether they realized it or not, helped to create an environment that made me feel as if I fit in, and that was new for me here.

People like Logan Reardon, Bryan Murphy, Peter Dewey, TJ Brown and Emily Flamme, they helped me realize that no matter where you are, there are things to be happy about. There are people who will make you feel glad and lucky to know them. They gave me that joy, somewhere to put my energy and focus, so I could let go of the other stressors in life.

So wherever you are, no matter how isolated or uncomfortable you feel, you will find a reason to smile. Sometimes you’ll need to seek it out, other times it will come to you, but regardless of where you are you can find something to be happy about.

And so why not put all of your energy into what makes you happy?

Illustration by Xavier Cullen