What annoys you

Lauren Saxon, Print Editor-In-Chief

Getting snow without a snow day is annoying. Racist and sexist jokes are annoying. Teachers overloading students with homework is definitely annoying.

In my Contemporary Hispanic Studies (CHS) class, a question arose in our class discussion.

What annoys you?

At first, only surface level answers came to mind. Reaching deeper, I discovered something that really does annoy and impact our lives: Negativity.

Reflecting on my daily encounters, negativity is everywhere.

Every day I see students shuffle in the hallways with their heads down. Every day I watch drivers honk angrily at pedestrians. The worst offender: the media.

It is impossible to turn on the news channels without seeing the corruptions, the wars, and the struggle of other countries and our own.

The home pages of popular internet sites feature interesting, but usually immoral stories. The front pages of trendy magazines such as People highlight celebrity mistakes, attack body image, and report relationship disasters.

Negativity surrounds us, and I find that aggravating.

The negativity may not occur purposefully, but this tendency we all have is backed by science. In my psychology class I learned that experiments support a troubling concept. We are more likely to remember the bad than the good. Negative experiences are more easily recalled than positive ones.

I, myself, am guilty of feeding into this negativity. Receiving bad grades on physics tests, losing basketball games, and being overwhelmed with homework stress have all contributed to my ‘bad days’.  At many times this year, I joined the rest of the student body, shuffling with my head down in the hallway.

Luckily, this is something we can all change.

The older I get, the more I realize that I am in control. I am a senior in high school choosing what college to attend. I’m deciding what to study, and how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Just as we have control of our future, we have control of our attitude. We have control of negativity.

The easiest way I have learned to control negativity? Reflection.

Every time I catch myself shuffling through the halls, I try to reflect on the things I am thankful for. I reflect on the blessings I am privileged to have.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1)         Family. I am fortunate enough to have unconditional support from not only my immediate family, but my friends that have become my family.

2)         Education. I complain about school as much as any other teenager, but I try to remind myself that there are kids in other countries who are fighting for what I take for granted: learning.

3)         Laughter. Every day I am given the opportunity to make someone else’s day. Even if my own day isn’t going as planned, I jump at the chance to put a smile on someone else’s face. Embrace this opportunity.

Even as I write these three ideas, more things I am grateful for flood to my mind. Don’t stop at three.

Negativity is a chain linked by the media and our own thoughts, but we can break this chain. It can be through something as small as a compliment, a joke, an act of kindness, or even a smile.

By performing any one of these small acts, you are creating a new chain, this one of positivity.

As I continued to read my psychology book, I stumbled across something called the feel-good do-good phenomenon. This proven phenomenon states that when we feel good about ourselves, we perform positive actions for others.

Although cliché, this is a reminder that it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. This is a reminder to count your blessings.

When it comes to positivity, the ball is entirely in your court. You control your future, but you also control today.


Make every day a good one.