7 August 2018: Editorial
Imagine you are asked to recall the happiest moments of your life: what would this look like for you? Think about it; embrace that sweet nostalgia. For many of us, the memories we look back on most fondly are from our youth. A time when significant events are taking place: we are figuring out our identity, perhaps we are falling in love for the first time! It has been proven that we recall disproportionately more events from these particular years. In fact, this is a psychological phenomenon called the ‘reminiscence bump’.
Another concept we adorn when looking back on the past is that of the ‘rose-tinted glasses’, by which we view things through a more positive lens. Maybe that is why I tell people that Honours was “the best” and “so much fun” (overlooking the minor detail that it was also the most stress-inducing, hectic year ever). Rosy retrospection is lovely, but I do find myself ruminating about the past and worrying about the future. A helpful notion is to remind myself that I am a ‘work in progress’. Perfectionists find this difficult to grapple with, but hey – you would not want to peak too soon, right?
Stopping to smell the roses has definitely been worth my while. Mindfulness – simply appreciating the present moment – can take many forms, e.g., meditation, journaling/stream-of-consciousness writing. Practicing gratitude also helps keep me grounded. Before you go to sleep tonight, ask yourself, “what is that one thing I’m grateful for?” I am thankful for the enriching friendships in my life.
The PGSA care about your hauora, so know you are not alone. Reach out if you need support. In our overstimulated world, opt to go unplugged every now and then; look outside and sit with your own thoughts next time you are on the bus (shout-out tertiary fares), and remember to stop and smell the roses along your postgraduate journey.
Schyana Sivanantham, PGSA Executive Member