In the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s easy to disregard the small things. But in my opinion, they are the most important. A few days ago, I was driving across campus and the DJ on a radio station came on air to say that scientists have done a study on how music makes us feel. It boosts our good moods and gives us something to connect to.
A music lover myself, I agreed with what the DJ said, and began thinking about other triggers of emotion. What came to mind were small things.
Some of these things were simple feel-goods. When the sun finally peaks through the clouds after a full day of overcast skies. Driving with the windows down. Opening your book to exactly the page you were on. Having just enough milk for a bowl of cereal. That “Friday feeling.” These are the small wins that can turn a day around and keep us chugging along. If you’re more dramatic, you could say these things help us survive… the day-to-day at least.
Others were the little annoyances. The person that presses the elevator button after you already did. Walking out to your car and realizing the keys are still in your room. Getting passed while walking on the sidewalk to class when there is plenty of time to spare (I’m a fast walker, dude, but for some reason you’ve taken it upon yourself to be the next Flash). Hopping in the shower to low water pressure. The smudge on your glasses you can’t seem to get rid of. These things are daily tests of our temperament.
Some things trigger emotions hard to explain. When your heart sinks not because your own relationship just ended, but instead because your friend’s just did, too. When your group hold up their drinks at a bar, cheering to a quote by an old buddy who’s in a better place. Reading a word out loud in class that you’ve never seen or heard before.
I realize that feelings work in funny ways. You can feel heartbreak for someone else, and can suddenly become euphoric after a long day. Emotions sparked by the small things can bring us closer together, usher in tears, heal us and allow us to forget about the pressures of life just for a moment.
The small things guide us through life in a way that we wouldn’t always notice, which I find interesting considering many times the small things stir emotion in us that is near explosive.
Your crush telling you happy birthday. Stubbing your toe on the edge of furniture. A text which reads, “We need to talk.” The perfect tear of perforated paper. Completing the best Netflix show you’ve seen yet. Putting the final period on a paper.