As Mason students continue to embark on their fifth week of school, the stress and multitude of to-do lists are in full swing. Class readings, exams, presentations, group work, jobs, extracurricular activities, families, friends; how are we supposed to keep up with it all without exploding? There are the typical answers, such as time management, going to class and studying. To me, the one answer that is the most important is to keep a positive outlook. We all have days where our moods may be less than stellar, but do we really like feeling that way? When you have a positive outlook, there is no time to be unhappy because you are too busy being productive in order to keep up with the fast-paced trend that life brings.

Lucky for us all, Mason is one of the friendliest, most welcoming places in the area. Looking back, the first conclusion I made as a freshman was about how nice everyone was. Just to make sure that I was not the only one who felt this way, I asked other students what they thought about the impression given off by Mason.

“I felt that Mason did a good job of making the freshmen feel welcome,” said Joe Moschetto, freshman. “[People were] definitely friendly and it was good to know that they were making an effort to get the freshmen involved in campus life.”

Existing in a friendly environment provides the jumpstart to keeping a positive outlook. In addition to being surrounded by genuine people, there are some simple things that will help make your positive outlook last.

1.       Read Inspiring Quotes: Studies have shown that by reading or viewing an inspirational piece of art, you will be motivated – motivated to be productive and motivated to make your day a successful one. Let yourself be motivated to be happy and read some inspiring quotes!

2.             Wake Up Early: Waking up early sets the tone for how your day is going to go. Not only do you have more hours in the day, but you also tend to be more focused and less tired.

3.             Listen to Your Favorite Music: Your favorite music is always an instant mood lightener because it allows you to leave your reality. Art in general momentarily helps to erase the worries and stress that we seem to be surrounded by 24/7. Find your escape!

4.             Compliment Someone: If you are a believer in good karma, complimenting someone is a guarantee to getting some of it to come your way. Even if you don’t believe in it, complimenting someone still makes you feel better about yourself. You never know; your compliment could make that person’s day.

5.             Smile: Smiles are contagious. We all know it and smiles simply make you feel good. Start the domino effect of spreading smiles and help George Mason continue to live up to its friendly, welcoming reputation here in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Be aware of the numerous opportunities on campus to get help with questions about your major or academic career.

“I think it is important for a student to always be working and living just outside their comfort zone,” said Jade Barricelli, academic advisor and technology coordinator in the Academic Advising and Transfer Center. “Make sure you go to that event on campus that will allow you to meet new people. Just outside the comfort zone is where you grow. Push yourself a little bit everyday and find opportunities for positive interactions and experiences.”

People see the world and their lives the way they want to see it, not necessarily the way it actually is. It is important to keep a positive outlook on school and everything in general. Not only will it affect everything you do, but it will also encourage others to do the same.